Homeowners Upset Over Bumpers Installed in Center Median

Traffic bumpers in the center median of Gould Avenue at Knight Way near Paradise Canyon Elementary School have upset some residents.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Traffic bumpers in the center median of Gould Avenue at Knight Way near Paradise Canyon Elementary School have upset some residents.

Parking bumpers recently installed near Paradise Canyon Elementary School have a group of homeowners upset with the La Cañada Flintridge Public Works Department. At a Joint Use Committee meeting last week, some residents complained about the 36 parking bumpers installed in mid-September in the center median of Gould Avenue at Knight Way.
“Where I live, an emergency vehicle would have a great deal of difficulty getting to us,” said resident Don Manning, who said he lives in the 5000 block of Gould, a private drive that has four homes located on the north side of the school. “I’m very aware we’re making it safer for the kids, but I’ve gone out there and watched kids jaywalk across the street and parents trying to call their kids and that has not changed with this — it’s worse. It’s a just a matter of having a lot more cars [backing up on Gould] than there were before. Safety hasn’t improved and it has made our life very difficult.”
City Public Works Director Pat DeChellis said to a group of eight residents that a traffic study would be conducted and presented to the Traffic Commission on Wednesday, Oct. 16.
The traffic bumpers were placed in the area on Sept. 19 and 20 as a compromise to stop vehicles from driving over the center median during school hours.
“I’ll send a traffic engineer to address the unintended consequences we didn’t think would occur,” DeChellis said. “We thought it would help the situation. And they’re saying it’s worsened the situation.”
DeChellis said a planted median was initially envisioned for the center median but the $500,000 price tag for the lowest bid was too high.
Resident Nancy Yasuda said she has lived next to Manning for 20 years and she misses having a wide street.
“Now I feel like I’m being punished,” Yasuda said. “I can’t make a left out of my driveway. I can’t come down Gould and make a left into my driveway.”
Other issues residents described included PCY staff members not parking at the school and the unsightly look of the bumpers, which are painted yellow and black and are reflective at night.
Committee member and LCUSD Governing Board member Dan Jeffries asked the residents to try to be patient.
“We have to be deliberate about the long-term plan,” Jeffries said.
LCF resident and 6th-grade parent John O’Grady said he was personally unaffected by the bumpers, but he thought the U-turn past the median should be wider for vehicles.
“I’ve seen people try to do the turn and they can’t quite make it,” said O’Grady the next day, after he parked his car near the median and walked to the school.
LCF resident Sunyoung Fahimi, who was waiting for her 2nd-grader in her car on Gould, said she could understand the concerns on both sides.
“They’re not attractive,” Fahimi said of the bumpers. “But they’re trying to do something to have people follow the rules. Before people weren’t really paying attention to it. I wonder if anyone talked to the residents before these went up?”
Residents at the meeting said they were not told about the bumpers.
“What we’re saying is we haven’t been kept in the loop,” said Manning, who has lived in his home for more than 50 years. DeChellis gave his business card with his cellphone number to the residents.

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