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Bus Stops Are at Crossings to Ensure Safety

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Traffic Talk:

This is something that has been on my mind for several months and, subconsciously, maybe years. It has to do with a bus stop at Oxnard Street and Woodman Avenue.

Buses traveling west on Oxnard cross Woodman and stop at a bus bench between two driveways in front of a gas station.

However, vehicles traveling behind the buses often stop in the intersection because the bus pulls over in front of them to pick up or drop off passengers at the bench.

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It seems to me that the bus bench could be moved farther west on Oxnard, in front of a bar there to alleviate the situation.

If the bench were moved, vehicles would have room to go around the bus and could avoid stopping in the intersection.

Is there something that can be done?

Marge Mahon, North Hollywood

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Dear Marge:

Metropolitan Transportation Authority engineers will inspect the intersection to determine if anything can be done. However, the description of the Oxnard/Woodman intersection appears similar to other intersections around the city.

Benches are placed at intersections with signals following a standard procedure, said Peter Serdienis, MTA stops and zones manager.

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Among the considerations, the benches are placed close to the intersections primarily to provide safe access to public transportation--users who can use the controlled crosswalks to reach the bus stop, authorities said.

The farther away from the intersections the benches are placed, the greater the chance of bus riders jaywalking and interfering with motor traffic, Serdienis said.

This could open up the agency to the danger of lawsuits by people injured when crossing the street to catch the bus, he said.

Motorists following a bus should be aware that buses may stop just across intersections. When the bus signals right, drivers should move to the left lane to go around.

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On average, bus stops are 15 seconds long.

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Dear Traffic Talk:

Just north of Hamlin Street on Whitsett Avenue, the street was patched.

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It is a large, poorly done patch that sits higher than the rest of the street and tilts vehicles at an angle. When driven over at 35 to 50 mph, it is like being on a roller coaster.

Can’t this be redone to make it conform to the rest of the street?

Kris Brahms, Van Nuys

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Dear Kris:

The patch at that location was a temporary repair and the street has been fixed, according to authorities.

The actual damage to the roadway was caused by a water blowout in a rusted waterline. The city’s Department of Street Maintenance worked with the Department of Water and Power to fix the problem.

The uneven patch was made of temporary cold asphalt that was placed by DWP repair crews after the waterline was repaired, said Steve Burke of the East Valley Street Maintenance office.

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However, the material was recently removed and the street should be in acceptable riding condition, authorities said.


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