Jul 25, 2014
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Letter: Resident Asks to Sue City Over Unsafe Streets

A frustrated resident explains the difficulty of getting traffic slowing devices installed in her neighborhood.

Letter: Resident Asks to Sue City Over Unsafe Streets
The following letter to the editor was sent in by reader Deborah McDonald.

For many years, the residents on Calle Alcala and Via Burriana have asked the City to implement some safety measures to slow speeders on our two neighborhood streets. People use our two streets as cut-throughs between Alicia, Trabuco, and Los Alisos to avoid the long light at Alicia and Trabuco.

We've requested speed humps, a three way stop sign at a fairly dangerous intersection, and even a traffic cop. The city, time and time again, says no. We have had numerous accidents, people crashing into front yards, cars, our trash cans.

There are five developmentally disabled children living at the corner of Via Burriana and Calle Alcala who could at any time misjudge the speed of a car and run out. Yet the city ignores the requests of the residents.

The city attorney went so far as to say that the city isn't responsible if a child gets hit and killed by a car, but is responsible if a speeding motorcyclist dies after crashing over a speed hump. Seriously? 

After much arguing, we requested a three-way stop at the corner of Via Burriana and Calle Alcala. There isn't one now and it would at least make an attempt to slow traffic. One of the traffic engineers, Philip N., states that stop signs are not intended to slow traffic, but to give right-of-way and, therefore, would not be appropriate at this three way intersection—even though we've had numerous accidents there. (The city doesn't believe it because the people are obviously not turning them into the police or insurance). And obviously the right of way is not crystal clear for some people.

Now Philip has decided that since he did a parking study during the middle of the day (when everyone was at work and the neighborhood was relatively quiet), painting the curb red for no parking will somehow eliminate people speeding and therefore make it impossible to have any more unsafe near-misses at that intersection. They are voting to do this today at 3 p.m., conveniently when everyone is at work and cannot attend the meeting. He and the rest of the team refuse to listen to the needs of the residents and put in some real safety measures.

Painting a curb red punishes the residents by now making it impossible for us to have any guests at our property and allowing them to bring a car. Second, it clears the road for speeders to not have anything in their way, thus an increased ability to "rail" that corner like some NASCAR driver. And, lastly, now the family who lives on that corner, one with a disable child, cannot safely back out of their driveway without the risk of having their car t-boned, which already has had numerous near misses, too many to even keep track of.

We hear screeching on that corner daily. They currently do not park in their driveway for that particular reason and have a special side fence where they enter their property. This is the only safe way to enter their property. And the city is fully aware of this. What needs to happen is for a lawsuit for discrimination to take place.

I believe, as do the residents, that an attorney for the disabled needs to represent that particular family and sue the city for discriminating against their child and the safety of his wellbeing.

I have spent numerous hours, along with the other residents, sitting in meetings listening to the city discussing city issues. If they can make money, it is always a 'yes' vote. They don't care if they are putting children next to a bar, if it means money for them, 'yes' is the answer. They don't care in the least if children will be hit by cars, or families who spent half a million dollars on a home have a shred of safety, only if there is money to be made. Somebody needs to call them on this.

If that corner family gets in an accident because of a speeding car, I want an attorney to sue the ever-loving pants off of the city because they have been made aware of the danger and refuse to be anything other than negligent.

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