Saturday, March 26, 2011

Calls for a safer Wilbur Ave. 13 years ago....

Calls for a safer Wilbur date back to 1998
Northridge Community Plan specifically mentions Wilbur Ave. as a target for traffic calming

Wilbur's safety woes are nothing new. As far back as 1998 the Northridge Community Plan, part of the Los Angeles City General Plan, calls specifically for Wilbur avenue to receive traffic calming measures:
(on page III=25) in section 13-1.3,under GOAL 13, Objective 13-1, Policies
last updated 1998, 


Discourage non-residential traffic flow for streets designed to serve residential areas only by the use of traffic control measures. One problem area is Wilbur Avenue which is a street with excessive traffic speeds through a residential neighborhood. Another area is that surrounding CSUN, where residents have noted the intrusion of traffic and parked cars.

Program: The use of Residential Neighborhood Protection Plans and traffic calming techniques to relieve congestion on collector streets that are expected to experience traffic congestion by the year 2010. For Wilbur Avenue, techniques can include the narrowing of travel lanes, chokers or sidewalk bulges with landscaping at minor inter-sections, and increased enforcement of posted speed limits. Speeding problems along Wilbur Avenue should first be referred to the Police Department. If the problem is not solved through enforcement, the LADOT should initiate a traffic study to determine the extent of the problem and propose appropriate measures to remedy the situation

Note that out of ALL the streets in Northridge, Wilbur is specifically mentioned. Fast forward to 2009 when the LADOT posted notice that they intended to remove the crosswalks at Superior and Prairie. Upon seeing these signs the neighborhood rose up and produced more than 600 signatures stating that they wanted to keep those crosswalks. MANY people showed up that summer to speak at both the Northridge West and Northridge East Neighborhood Council meetings to proclaim very loudly and clearly that they wanted those crosswalks to stay and that the speed limit should come down on Wilbur. Paul Meshkin of the LADOT was present at those meetings along with other staff members, the names escape me. They saw the outrage to the crosswalk removals and the disgust at the proposal to install peak hour lanes on Reseda. Most telling sign of the chorus of disapproval present at that meeting? The former president of Northridge West, who had originally introduced a motion supporting peak hour lanes on Reseda, found himself voting against his own motion. People were passionate and I believe the LADOT went back to the drawing board and came back with the only logical answer to most of the problems plaguing Wilbur... a road diet. What other options did they have? Stop signs? More lights? Speed limit decreases?

What the LADOT did not do was engage the public on the last leg of this journey and that is why we have a rift amongst neighbors. Over time, this rift will heal and perhaps alternate solutions will be proposed.


  1. Wilbur is classified as a "Secondary Highway," NOT as a "residential street." Secondary highways are meant for "through" traffic and residential traffic. LAPD has a large enough workforce to give tickets to three teachers in one day for going into bike lane too soon (trying to escape congested Wilbur), but not enough LAPD to enforce Wilbur's speed??? There is nothing SPECIAL about Wilbur as a secondary highway. There is NO reason to believe people speed more on Wilbur than they do on Lassen St. Intelligent people need to nip this stupid Road Diet thing before the idiot Democrats who monopolize LA City Council spread Road Diets to Lassen, Tampa, Devonshire, Chatsworth and other valley streets. We don't want our town to be known for congested streets like other towns. There was a huge accident on Wilbur at Mayall Street yesterday with two fire trucks and paramedics responding. I have lived here 37 years and never heard of any accidents at that location. The Road Diet has made it hard to turn from Mayall onto Wilbur. Richard the mailman had to change the route he has used for 25 years that involved turning from Mayall onto Wilbur. Now he drives out of his way to clog up Vanalden instead of taking his life into his hands turning from Mayall street as he did for 25 years. t costs us extra pollution and gasoline coThe Road Diet has cost us extra time away from family and work. Brilliant, make people less productive. People are now making u-turns on Wilbur, and we never saw that happening in the past. Vanalden is congested all the way up to the blind crest at the top where it is very dangerous. Parents are sitting in Vanalden traffic trying to get to and from Nobel and Topeka. Brilliant, just billiant...idiots!!! The person that created this website lives in a house facing Wilbur so this entire website is slanted and biased. Read Don Ward's blogs with a skeptical eye. These people tell lies like saying the town hall meeting was 65 % in favor of restoring Wilbur to 4 lanes -- that is a bold faced exaggeration. More like 90-94% favored restoring Wilbur to four lanes. If they have to resort to exaggerations, then everything they say should be questioned.

  2. Watch the videos of the meeting and watch the crowd reactions to speakers both for and against. There were plenty of people applauding the speakers who supported having a safer Wilbur. I dont know where you got the 65/35 figure but it's not an unreasonable figure.

    I like to point out that there were not many speakers against the road diet that didnt also acknowledge that speeding is a problem.

    Regardless, it doesn't change history or the fact that Wilbur was specifically mentioned in the LA city general plan as a residential street with speeding and dangerous conditions. Just read the text of the plan.

    If the road diet isn't doing the job then how about stop signs at mayall, superior, and prairie?

    At the Wilbur Working group meetings, the Anti road diet people were so furiously focused on rushing the process and the joint vote that they missed an opportunity to really push to solve the issues. Hopefully, if we do take another look at the road we will take the time to understand and solve the issues on a block by block basis and include stop signs and stop lights as options.

  3. Stop signs at Harnett too, and end the stupid merge!!