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ACONA: Jan. 7 Meeting Highlights

ACONA: Jan. 7 Meeting Highlights
Attendees of the Jan. 7 Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting had plenty to vent about the evening's topic: traffic and parking issues.

The topic for the night mostly involved ordinances and laws governing the issuance of parking tickets over blocked driveways and sidewalks and hikers reportedly clogging neighborhoods with their vehicles.

Traffic and parking questions have always come up at previous ACONA meetings, said Elliot Gold, co-founder of ACONA.

CHP officers Tom Miller and Xavier Bejar and members from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Traffic and Lighting Division were also present to answer questions.

Miller reiterated that it is very much illegal for a parked vehicle to block a driveway and/or sidewalk and that a vehicle can be towed if the driver is not present to move the vehicle if homeowners cannot exit their driveways.

Frequent hikers in the mountain areas have reportedly posed massive parking problems for residents who live in those neighborhoods, according to some of the night's speakers.

One speaker, a 38-year resident of Cocopan Drive, said she witnesses hikers taking almost all of the parking outside of residences. Some homeowners can't park in their own neighborhood, the speaker said.

For county areas, the majority of these traffic issues are matters for the California Highway Patrol, Miller said.

"We would come up as an enforcer and take a look at it. Based on my observation of what's going on at the time I would either cite them, or warn them," Miller said.

Miller, a public information officer and community officer, handles roughly one-quarter of the parking enforcement calls and traffic law enforcement in Altadena.

What the situation boiled down to was for law enforcement to be at the right place, at the right time; Officers and deputies need to be out conducting enforcement and witness the violations taking place for citations to be issued.

Some violations tend to not be caught by law enforcement due to the CHP and Sheriff's Department being understaffed.

John Benedict, captain of the Altadena Sheriff's Station, said their parking enforcer works five days a week, only eight hours a day during daylight hours. Outside of the mentioned hours, residents should call the CHP for parking issues.

Tom Muttaraid, from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Traffic and Lighting Division, said investigators can be called out to conduct a study in areas where traffic and speed problems are persistent to determine a course of action to deter the problems.

Future ACONA meetings are scheduled for March 4, May 6, September 23 and November 4.

For information, visit aconaonline.org.

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