Residents want better Orange Line safety

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week “Let us know we’re somewhere special,” he said. “I, a perfectly sober, 60-year-old alert driver – with my wife, on a clear day – almost turned into the busway.” West Hills resident John Koerner suggests painting the limit lines at each crossing bright orange – or even embedding them with flashing lights. “My impression has been that the limit lines do need to be bolder,” he said. “Make them orange.” Today, the City Council’s Transportation Committee will hear from city Department of Transportation, Metropolitan Transportation Authority and law enforcement officials about safety changes for the busway. There has been only the single collision involving the busway, although bus drivers report having several “close calls” with motorists, said the MTA’s Valley general manager, Richard Hunt. After nearly turning his Saturn wagon onto the Orange Line route, resident Jeffrey Sandler suggests painting bold zebra stripes on the pavement to make the busway safer. North Hollywood resident Eric Diehl wants traffic signals made brighter, saying he mistakenly ran a red light near the Orange Line last week because he couldn’t see it until it was too late. San Fernando Valley residents have offered a range of suggestions for improving Orange Line safety – from more flashing red lights to orange “Busway” signs instead of standard blue ones – after an elderly driver, who may have been on a cell phone, ran a red light and crashed into a bus last week. “Paint the roadway as if it was the yellow brick road,” said Sandler, a 29-year resident of the Valley. One problem motorists have repeatedly complained about is the way many of the new traffic lights cannot be seen until drivers are beneath them. “It looks like it’s turned off,” Diehl said. “Go back to the normal lights.” The city says some lights are purposefully dimmed so motorists will concentrate on the first signal at the cross street before proceeding to the busway. Such lights are used citywide. Still, the city is considering dismantling traffic lights at six other intersections where the busway runs very close to the parallel streets – such as De Soto, Corbin and Tampa avenues – and replacing them with flashing “Bus” signs. Already, the city has made changes since last week’s crash by timing red lights so all cars have cleared an intersection, and relocating signs at eye level. MTA officials are looking at photo enforcement cameras for intersections, and are putting strobe lights on two buses in a pilot project, as they investigate other measures like crossing gates. The MTA said ridership was robust over the weekend with 8,500 to 9,500 boardings Saturday, typically a slower commute day. Monday’s ridership was 9,000, below the previous Monday’s estimate of 10,000 to 11,000. Lisa Mascaro, (818) 713-3761 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img