Building of Traffic Signal Near LCHS Is Underway

Construction of a new traffic light near La Cañada High School that began this week is expected to take seven weeks to finish, officials said at a recent meeting of the local Joint Use Committee.
The committee, which consists of La Cañada Flintridge and La Cañada Unified School District officials and addresses issues concerning both entities, also heard updates on the Devil’s Gate Dam project, pickleball and efforts to transfer the Sagebrush area into the LCUSD.
Traffic light work includes upgrading the signal to include a dedicated left-turn arrow for vehicles traveling north on Oak Grove Drive and turning west onto Berkshire Place. Work began on Monday, but crews stopped temporarily on Tuesday to help with another job in the region. Brittany Barker, a civil engineer for Los Angeles County Public Works, told The Outlook that the contractor resumed work near LCHS around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday and will work on trenching today, Jan. 31.
“Their start time is flexible depending on their activities, but their end time is always to be off the road by 2:30 p.m.,” Barker said in an email. LCF Public Works Director Patrick DeChellis told the committee that cones used to signal construction work will regularly be picked up by 2:30 p.m.
Traffic on Oak Grove Drive and Berkshire Place could be reduced to one lane at times, Barker said.
Committee member Dan Jeffries of the LCUSD Governing Board said district officials were concerned the addition of the signal could make traffic worse at LCHS, so county officials asked their traffic engineers to take another look. They concluded it won’t make things worse even with a high school drop-off point nearby but will keep an eye on it, Jeffries said.
“So if that first week of having a signal in place we notice a big problem, the county engineers have agreed to look at it,” Jeffries said. The county is paying for the improvements.
Local officials support Sagebrush area residents’ effort to join the LCUSD. The area in the western part of LCF has historically been part of the Glendale Unified School District. The Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization voted on Oct. 2 to transfer the area to the LCUSD, but the GUSD has filed one lawsuit and two appeals to stop the effort.
LCUSD Superintendent Wendy Sinnette said the district has reviewed the GUSD litigation and sent a letter to the county committee that addresses what she called negative assertions by the Glendale district and “just tries to go on the record of clarifying and rectifying those.”
Margo Minecki, a public information officer for the county committee, later said in an email its next regular meeting is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. March 4 at the county Office of Education board room in Downey.
As for the Devil’s Gate Dam sediment removal project at Hahamongna Watershed Park, Sinnette said she, Jeffries and Governing Board President Joe Radabaugh met with county Supervisor Kathryn Barger to review the project’s first haul cycle and “talk about the synergy developed between the city, district and the county.” Sinnette said that it was a “nice opportunity” to share information and that the district is continuing to use its air monitoring system.
The removal of sediment in the project to restore habitat in the Arroyo Seco has raised concerns about local air quality. Haul trucks have ceased their activity for now, but county Public Works official Steve Burger said in an email to The Outlook that the hauling will resume on April 16. He said the county continues to work with the contractor on details about the monitoring of tailpipe emission testing and officials “are committed to getting it done.”
During the committee meeting’s public comment section, pickleball enthusiast Bill Koury asked for an update on progress in locating a court for the relatively new sport that incorporates elements of tennis, ping-pong and badminton.
LCF Division Manager Arabo Parseghian said later that the city Parks and Recreation Commission would continue the pickleball discussion in February. Parseghian said he would update the Joint Use Committee in March.

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