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La Canada signature drive underway

Marshall Allen

LA CANADA FLINTRIDGE -- A standing-room-only crowd learned how they

can help bring $10 million for La Canada Flintridge freeway sound walls

at a meeting Tuesday night.


The grass-roots group -- which is committed to decreasing noise in the

city -- is seeking 5,000 signatures from registered voters before April


“It was a great meeting,” said Mayor Anthony Portantino. “It’s nice to


know that there’s a groundswell of community support for what you’re

trying to do.”

Portantino is one person who was instrumental in getting $10 million

for La Canada Flintridge sound walls written into the Traffic Congestion

Relief and Safe School Bus Act. The act is a ballot initiative, sponsored

by the Planning Conservation League, that the group hopes to get on the

November ballot. The Planning Conservation League is a nonprofit,

statewide alliance dedicated to preserving California’s environment. It


needs 700,000 signatures to get the initiative on the November ballot.

To meet its local goal, representatives will go door

to door throughout the community.

“We’re going to do our part to make this thing happen,” said Brent

Whitfield, director of

In addition to going door to door, a stack of petitions will be on

hand for residents who want to stop by La Canada Flintridge Travel at 838

1/2 Foothill Blvd. Also, people interested in signing can call Portantino


at 952-3432, or Whitfield at 790-8011.

Whitfield is also chairman of the city’s ad hoc Sound Wall Committee

and gave an update on the status of the city’s Noise Barrier Sound Survey

Environmental Report. The comprehensive study, approved by the City

Council in October, must be undertaken before sound walls are approved.

The target date for beginning the study is Sept. 1, and it will take a

year to complete, Whitfield said. La Canada Flintridge is the first city

to consider sound absorption walls for its sound walls in its

environmental report, he said.

Sound absorption walls are more effective than the traditionally used

reflective walls, Whitfield said.

“That’s important for La Canada because we’re in a valley,” he said.

“We don’t want to transfer the problems down near the freeway up to

hillside residents.”