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No Solution for Snarled Intersection

TIMES STAFF WRITER

Dear Traffic Talk:

I travel Coldwater Canyon Boulevard southbound from Ventura Boulevard every weekday at 7 a.m. Some mornings there is steady traffic flow with minimal congestion while other mornings the traffic is at a standstill--often backed into the Coldwater-Ventura intersection.

The variable appears to be changing signal patterns at the crest, Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive, which affords a longer green light for Coldwater Canyon traffic on some days and shorter greens on other days. Since there is no advantage to a gridlocked canyon and a blocked major intersection, could an explanation be provided?

--David Esquith

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Northridge

Dear David:

The problem is not traffic signal timing. There are too many vehicles for the available roadway capacity, said Bill J. Shao, a transportation engineer with the city Department of Transportation.

At the intersection of Coldwater Canyon and Mulholland Drive, southbound left-turn signals come on when motorists activate sensors or when pedestrians push crossing buttons. Therefore, the length of green time for Coldwater Canyon depends on traffic demands, southbound drivers turning left on Mulholland and pedestrians, he said.

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During weekday mornings, many drivers use Coldwater Canyon to get to Beverly Hills or as an alternate to the congested San Diego Freeway, Shao said. Many drivers use Mulholland to get to Laurel Canyon and Beverly Glen boulevards, and changing traffic signal timing would not relieve the area’s congestion, he said.

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Dear Traffic Talk:

Libbit Avenue between Hayvenhurst and Noeline avenues in Encino is in terrible condition. Drivers use it to reach Ventura Boulevard, and it gets much more than just local traffic. Can it be repaved in the very near future?

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--Barbara Starr

Encino

Dear Barbara:

Libbit Avenue between Hayvenhurst and Ventura Boulevard will be repaved some time between this July and June 2001, said Robert Reed, a spokesman for the city Public Works Department.

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Traffic Talk appears Fridays in The Times Valley Edition. Readers may submit comments and questions about traffic in the Valley to Traffic Talk, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth 91311. Include your name, address and phone number. Letters may be edited, and no anonymous letters will be accepted. Fax letters to (818) 772-3385. E-mail questions to valley.news@latimes.com.


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