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Letter: Streets could be made safe for all users

February 04, 2014

Re: “Time to put the brakes on unsafe driving,” News-Press editorial, Feb. 1. I agree with the idea that the city needs to do more and I am very grateful to the News-Press for writing this editorial. The premise is correct. I also agree that we need to lobby legislators to enact harsher penalties for reckless drivers, but there are immediate and local things that can be done by the city of Glendale that will effectively slow traffic and reduce collisions using infrastructure changes and engineering solutions.

No one is talking about how our built environment dictates the way we behave on the streets. If you have a street like Glenoaks that is three lanes in each direction and street lights spaced very far apart, of course you will expect people to drive very fast during nonpeak hours. That is just an example. Engineering and urban planning are key factors in reducing fatalities on the street, in addition to enforcement and education.

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The city of Los Angeles likewise has a dismal record for pedestrian and bicyclist safety. The only difference is that the city of L.A. is very proactive in making their streets safer. Just one example is their installation of zebra crosswalks, which provide more visibility for pedestrians crossing the street. L.A. has changed their priority from moving cars as fast as possible through their streets, to ensuring the safety of all users of the road. Glendale doesn't need to look far to find solutions. The talent, ideas, and solutions are out there — we aren't the only city that faces these issues. The only thing that is missing is leadership.

Alek Bartrosouf
Glendale

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