I wish to commend Shant Minas for his op-ed on Glendale traffic woes. Minas describes eloquently the disgraceful situation existing in Glendale as a result of uncivilized behavior of drivers and nonexistent enforcement of traffic laws. It is a terrifying experience driving and walking in our city. The City Council and the Police Department refuse to hire officers to enforce existing traffic laws. Issuing tickets, suspending licenses and impounding cars should be quite effective on our drivers, as gentle persuasion and polite pleas fall on deaf ears.
The claim the city does not have enough money for enforcement is hollow. I recall our chief of police,some time ago stating that we don't want to write too many tickets because the merchants complain we might acquire the reputation of having strict traffic enforcement, which, in turn, will reduce the number of people coming to Glendale and presumably diminish their profits. This is an offensive statement. To begin with, one might think that our life and limbs and property have some value, if not to the chief and the City Council and the merchants, then to us as individuals.
Tickets and fines will bring considerable revenue. If the city has sufficient funds to hire numerous consultants to rename our airport, to study and design the hare-brained idea of capping the 134), I am sure they can find a few dollars for traffic policemen to protect those of us who live here and care for our city.
We know the problem and the solution. Let us act and go after those who allow this unacceptable situation to continue.
Hopes for new council members
I'm heartened to see that some fresh blood will be running for the three open seats on the Glendale City Council.
Change is certainly needed. After all, this is the council that most recently was found to have improperly signed off on the transfer of $57 million from GWP to the General Fund. And for years now, it's been the council that never met a massive development it didn't like, rubber-stamping every project that came its way. In the process, its members have transformed a livable, comfortable city into an overbuilt, under-served jungle.
In dark moments, I used to think the City Council was crooked. I believed they must have been systematically plied with payoffs and kickbacks to approve the building of all these mammoth, ugly boxes over the years. I don't necessarily think that now ... but if there had been payoffs and kickbacks, it would probably look an awful lot like what we have now.
Let's hope the new candidates have the guts to finally stand up and say "no."
Enforcement is the key word
Interesting letter from Hank Schlinger, Carl Field and Marl Carlos "Advocating for traffic safety."
I went to their website drivesafeglendale.com, and four of their recommendations have the word "enforcement" in them and their first recommendation is "increase funding for GPD" which I take as another recommendation for "enforcement." I completely agree that more enforcement is vitally important.
We have more than enough laws, speed bumps, stop signs, signals and crosswalks to make our city a safe place to drive. What we don't have is enough drivers who care.
When people don't care this is what we get: speeding on residential streets (install speed bumps and they move to another street), stop signs that are mere suggestions of coming to a complete stop, drag racing, talking and texting, ignoring pedestrians in crosswalks.
Why don't they care? One of the main reasons is there doesn't appear to be any consequence for the bad behavior, and on the rare occasion when they do get a ticket they don't seem to care about that either.
I have no idea how to make drivers care. Does it begin at home? Do the consequences need to be more draconian (impounding, loss of license, short jail time)?
What I am fairly sure of is we don't need more laws and traffic calming measures. Making people care is a difficult issue. In the meantime I strongly support more enforcement.
Questioning GWP upgrades
The Feb. 8 News-Press had a fairly lengthy article titled "Glendale Water & Power looks to upgrade Grayson Power Plant," wherein GWP officials were ordered to draft plans to improved the plant to allow for a more reliable, affordable and sustainable facility to generate electricity. The cost estimate for this upgrade is $350 million. Elsewhere, on the front page of the Los Angeles Times business section, was an article titled "Delay urged for power plant." The delay was urged because of concerns over an electricity glut. A few days ago, The Times published an article addressing the early closure of plants in Northern California, due to the same glut.
I must say, the only logical reason I can see for Glendale charging on is to enable the city to use the electricity plant as a funding source for their other expenditures. You can't make this stuff up.
No experts are watching GWP
Glendale Water & Power is in the process of tearing down and replacing the Grayson Power Plant with exception of Unit 9. If the utility was blessed with tons of excess ratepayer money that might be a logical thing to do. However it doesn't have excess money and will have to borrow the funds or raise electrical rates. There were no engineering studies to see if some of the older generators could have any life extensions and what would the cost be.
The general manager of GWP and the city manager are not experts in this area and neither know what to do with an older power plant. They are relying on hired consultants who are making tons of money on their recommendations. Unfortunately, our City Council lacks the same expertise in this area, so what we have is the blind leading the blind, and ratepayers will be left paying the bill.
Editor's Note: The writer is a retired Grayson plant superintendent.