Hilldale Drive may get clean sweep

Residents who live on Hilldale Drive don't have a lot of room to store their cars, but La Cañada Flintridge officials hope that they can keep the street empty once a month to clean up debris.

The twisty, 20-foot-wide road in the southern part of the city that begins at Verdugo Boulevard is often skipped by the city's private street-sweeping service provider. Parked cars line the street, making it difficult for the sweeper to roll through every other Friday morning.

Last year, 25 residents signed a petition to restrict parking on the days the sweeping occurred, but the proposal was rejected by the city's Public Works and Traffic Commission. The City Council overturned the commission's decision last week, voicing the need for clean streets. Council members proposed restricting parking only one Friday per month during a narrow window after 8 a.m. on only the upper portion of the street.

Hilldale could become the first street in the city to restrict parking for street sweeping.

"I had known of the street, but I had never driven down it until [recently]," said Councilman Donald Voss on June 3. "It's really interesting. It's like Franklin Canyon in Beverly Hills; a really distinct street in La Cañada Flintridge."

During his drive down the street, he said, another vehicle had to back up so he could pass, highlighting the narrow character of the street. "It's a difficult street and I understand the parking issues," he said.

Mayor Laura Olhasso said the street cleaning restrictions are necessary.

"I have not seen a street that has looked that unswept," she said. "If there are other streets that are dirty, we should sweep those streets as well."

But some neighbors did not think restrictions were necessary. Chris and Jacqueline Harris, who live on a hillside property with their teenage son and daughter, said they have a 1938 home that only accommodates one car in its garage. And sometimes they have to park a vehicle down the hill.

Chris Harris said the neighbors who signed the petition have more parking options on their property. "It is not right that we cannot afford reasonable access at all times in reasonable proximity to our house."

The street sweepers, he added, even avoid narrow corners of the street. "It cannot and does not go up to the edge of the hill or it will push out dirt and debris, making it worse than before it went by."

Olhasso told the residents that they could leave during the narrow street sweeping restriction period.

"If you're take your kids to school, you go out and do your errands, you have a cup of coffee, and an hour and a half later you're home," said Olhasso. "Not the whole day, not from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m., but from 8 to 9:30 a.m. or 8 to 10 a.m., as narrow as possible."


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