U-Turns Near PCY Will Draw Deputies’ Scrutiny

Drivers who cross a double yellow line while making a U-turn in the area of Gould Avenue and Knight Way near Paradise Canyon Elementary School could soon see the red and blue flashing lights of a sheriff’s patrol car.
“If it was a single double line, you can make a left,” Pat DeChellis, La Cañada Flintridge’s director of public works, said recently while pointing to a flat median where drivers like to turn around, near the school. “A double-double, you can’t cross it. We even put the hatching [shading] in to make it look like a raised median.”
A joint-use committee consisting of elected officials and staff members from the city and the La Cañada Unified School District made the request to have a Sheriff’s Department official at its meeting last week in the wake of school district concern.
“It doesn’t take much,” said DeChellis, pointing out the problem to a reporter and indicating that attention from law enforcement would soon make a difference. “They’re out here writing a couple of tickets. The word gets out.”
A sign warning against making U-turns over the double yellow line is in place, and sometimes school officials put out orange cones to discourage illegal turns. But DeChellis said that’s not a permanent solution.
“For the sake of the kids, I hope everybody’s watching what they’re doing,” DeChellis said.
Another area of concern is Solliden Lane and Jessen Drive near Palm Crest Elementary School. A closed Facebook group, La Cañada Flintridge Parents, featured a post last month that discussed the intersection and the issues there — again, U-turns have been a problem.
“I’ll let the sheriff know,” DeChellis told the Outlook.
During the joint use committee meeting, city officials also discussed the condition of the tennis courts on Cornishon Avenue near the school district offices. Officials said they are in disrepair and need a resurfacing project that would cost $143,000.
City and school district officials agreed to find out how to split the cost, DeChellis said.
“It looks pretty bad,” he said. “But still, people are out there playing.”
In about two months, both groups will report back on their ability to fund their portion, DeChellis said.
Division Manager Arabo Parseghian said in an email the courts are at least 25 years old.
“The actual cost of the project is to be seen once we go out to bid,” Parseghian said. “The current estimate is $143,000. Based on the discussion form the [committee] meeting, we need the funding commitment sooner rather than later.”
A sign placed outside of the tennis courts earlier this year says the city “will close the courts in summer 2019” unless funding for resurfacing is approved. The sign notes the joint-use committee is the decision maker and the voting members are the city and school officials.
Jim Settles, who uses the courts and has previously addressed the committee, said he was worried about the courts closing.
“They’re not talking about big, big numbers,” Settles said in a phone interview. “If they end up splitting it, it’s [$70,000] each. That’s not big money. We’ve always been about families and kids. To let the tennis courts close, it’s just kind of silly.”
Daniel Webster, who coaches La Cañada High School’s boys’ and girls’ junior varsity teams on the courts, said the facility has been ravaged by rainwater that has gotten underneath the surface and cracked the court. He said the courts should have been resurfaced four or five years ago.
“They’re due to be done,” Webster said in a phone interview.

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