A Barrier Opinion

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Category: Letters
Published on Thursday, 03 September 2009 21:58
Written by Veronica Washington

A Neighbor Expresses Her Concern About the Effort to Install a Gate In Her Community

I have lived in Western Heights since 1969. I love it here.
I understand the objection to being subject to traffic overflow, occasional speeders and Sunday drivers just looking. However as a long time resident and RN I must raise some significant concerns that I have about the barrier concept.

1) Our access to Emergency services is negatively affected by the barrier at Western and 20th street.
I am a brittle diabetic who has required their services on multiple occasions. Once they arrived and found my blood glucose to be 7/90 and the extra minute or two to open the gate could have cost me my life. I have two brothers who are Fire Captain's they both find the barriers intolerable obstacle to providing emergency care, where seconds can count. Our local fire department also opposes the barriers due to interference with access, OBVIOUSLY.

2) There are two schools on the funnel route, the only entry/exit to Western between Washington and Adams is on 24th street. One of the Schools Widney High is a disabled student campus attended by many blind students. Gramercy is very highly traveled since the temporary barriers were erected and it is where the blind students learn to use canes for public ambulation. Why would DOT opt for a circumstance like that, it just is not smart. The elementary school on 24th street has all of the attendant morning and afternoon parent traffic. Many neighbors need to access the freeway and use 24th street to do so. This is a dangerous idea funneling traffic past a elementary school. In addition there are two delivery ports facing 24th street at the corner of Western for two medical facilities. This street is impacted every school morning and many of us are late to work due to traffic obstacles. There will be an accident and I will testify that I issued a warning of impending danger.

3) Those of us who have lived here for the longest time and had long established routes of travel are now inconvenienced by our more politically adept new neighbors. City life is not for every one and all attempts at suburbanizing Los Angeles are domed. Suburbs are isolationist and cities are interactive. The individuals who are PRO barrier are not concerned about the schools their children don't attend. Other neighbors are now impacted by double to Quadruple traffic so the promoters can have reduced traffic. Do we not need a reason to be exclusionary with other citizens? Is it okay that some of the neighbors just don't want them in here?

I know the department of transportation shares my goals of safety and fluidity. Please look at a diagram of this neighborhood and apply logic to these six blocks. I have also spent time in the suburbs and every car on your street is destined for a home there. This is the city, most of the cars that go down my street do not stop here and it has been that way for forty years. The new neighbors moved into homes near the freeway which provide ready access. Now they don't want overflow. The homes are beautiful and people who help pay to pave our street want to look at them so let's make it easy. A little flexibility and logic will go a long way toward solving this problem. Our political representative has put the safety and well being of our community on a back burner. The temporary permit has expired, the true need for barriers has not been established, the majority of the neighbors are ANTI barrier and there are serious safety considerations. I am confident the DOT will uphold the rule of logic and that their decision will reflect concern for our neighborhood.

Concerned Neighbor of Forty Years
Veronica Washington

For additional information click "Eye On Wesson" or "Neighborhood Reports"

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