COMMUNITY COMMENTARY:

I do not agree with Councilman Ara Najarian regarding mitigation of our traffic problems (“A six-point plan to improve traffic safety,” Community Commentary, Jan. 28).

Perhaps my view is too simplistic. The answer is always meetings and requests for grant money or other money — this won’t solve the problem.

Respecting our laws only happens when it’s punitive enough for all who do not respect our laws. I like heavy fines/jail time for speeders and loss of license for those who drive through a crosswalk when pedestrians are crossing. Many drivers are arrogant and, in many cases, very young and behind the wheel of very expensive cars — feeling powerful by using their cars as an extension of themselves.

We do not need to ask for or spend a lot of money with the forming of committees and task forces — meeting after meeting and money spent for these committee meetings are not going to change the mind set of the driver.

The college classroom could simply offer daily reminders to students as to the punitive damages they will incur if they do not obey our traffic laws. Senior citizen centers could offer reminders and instructions to those who may not understand the rules of the road as they pertain to the pedestrian. It seems in Glendale the pedestrian definitely does not have the right of way. Parents instructing their children as to what is the best way to travel to school when biking or walking should know that “look both ways before you cross the street” is not rocket science.

Maybe investing in cameras at the various intersections in the downtown area would help. The cost of this could be paid, in part, by those who break our traffic laws if the fines are really high and punitive enough or if jail time is in the offing. Additional community service (maybe six months) could be added to big-dollar fines even for first-time offenders. This would begin to force respect for our traffic laws.

Regarding traffic signals: Many changes could be made. For instance, synchronize the signals on Brand Boulevard to allow a better flow of traffic going north after 4 p.m. during weeknights. No right turn on red with camera at the entrance of the freeway from Brand going east would certainly help the easing of cross traffic for those who come from Central Avenue going east on the street that is parallel to the Ventura (134) Freeway in order to enter the freeway at Brand. There are so many signals that need adjustment, especially during rush hour.

Glendale doesn’t need to spend lots of money. It needs to take in lots and lots of money from those who would break our traffic laws. Offenders should smile and behave because they’re going to be on camera, and cameras don’t lie.


 MARLENE WALKER is a Glendale resident.

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