Sunday, January 21, 2007

I Drove Grid

I was speaking to a field deputy the other week about improving things in a neighborhood and driving grid was a topic that came up. Basically, you get in your car and drive through the area you are representing finding problems and asking questions to yourself to later ask city employees. This sounded way exciting so I drove the majority of my elected area for the Neighborhood Council (normally I would bike, but I've been sick).

Here's some of what I found (besides the normal graffiti and illegal dumping of couches):
  1. Question: Why do some fire hydrants have curbs painted red and some don't?
  2. A property on a corner lot had its sprinklers running, yet spraying the sidewalk making anyone who would bike or walk through soaked.
  3. Murietta & Valleyheart: 6 or 7 Christmas trees dumped on side of the road on the LA River side.
  4. Moorpark/Ventura Cyn SE corner: It is always flooded here and has a pothole developing
  5. Alley behind Max/Maria's Italian Kitchen: Valet illegally parking vehicles
  6. Milibank/Matilija NE Corner: Abandoned Home with fence knocked over, boarded up windows unboarded and furniture dumped on the parkway.
  7. Question: Do we have an RV law?
  8. Dixie Cyn./Moorpark: When on Dixie, taking a left on to Moorpark, the red light is extremely long for 3 am. I've seen people get impatient and run the red because it felt like it was never going to change.
  9. Kling b/w Greenbush & Allott: This is against the 101 Freeway and people like to do drug deals here or once I saw some afternoon fellatio taking place. Well, I didn't see it literally, but from a distance, you knew what was going on.
So after reading that list, you can see that there's nothing shocking or pressing here -- it is Sherman Oaks after all. I can foresee a lot of my future grid drives are going to be about identifying future opportunities for improvements like bad traffic spots, controlled pedestrian cross walks, tree plantings, public art opportunities, etc.

What's needs to be solved in your part of Sherman Oaks?


Anonymous said...

I see you posted two questions in your list, so i thought I'd share just a basic answer to them.

"Why do some fire hydrants have curbs painted red and some don't?"
Technically, red curb is not required in front of hydrants, and the law still applies that you cannot block them (I forget the exact distance at this moment) whether the curb is painted or not. So, the red curb is painted in places as requested or where people are more likely to block the hydrant (heavily parked).

"Do we have an RV law?"
The City does not have an "RV Law," but just recently, the City passed a height/length ordinance restricting parking of vehicles longer than 22' and 84" high. So, it restricts parking of the largest vehicles but only if signs have been posted (at the request of the Councilperson via council action).

I hope this helps!

Anonymous said...

How large is the grid you checked out?

Zach Behrens said...

A few odd boundry lines aside at Studio City, Area 5 of Sherman Oaks is Hazeltine on the West, Ventura on the South, the 101 Freeway to the North and a mixture of Fulton, Ethel Van Noord, Coldwater Cyn and other streets to the East.

Not a very big area, very manageable. It contains about 9,276 residents. While not totally a rectangle, it is about 1.4 miles east/west and .6 of a mile running north/south.

Anonymous said...

I have the same gripes, which have never been addressed..

1. The Galleria's main employee parking entrance/exit, is next to the general public entrance/exit on Camarillo . This is just West of Sepulveda. The only building between the Galleria and the stop light is the 777 Motor Hotel. I think the city has done a great job of timing the light the best they can, but traffic can still backup in the 5pm-6:30pm time.

It seems it would be very helpful if the South side of the street had signs posted no parking between 5-7pm. This would allow 2 lanes of traffic, so that people could make the right to go Southbound on Sepulveda Blvd. allowing more cars to flow through the intersection. From my recollection, we're only talking about 4-6 parking spots in front of the Galleria's parking structure, and 777 Motel. It seems it would be a real benefit, not only to employees, but the many patrons of the gym and restaurants who come in and out that time.

2. As a resident on Allott Ave. just North of Magnolia, I've noticed a few problems. Large commercial trucks continually park parallel to the island that separates the residential streets, between Buffalo and Sunnyslope from Magnolia. I've seen people go so far as to draw white lines in front of their driveways on the road notifying people not to park there so they can get their cars out. Parking is available on both sides of the street, and it's a major thoroughfare during school pickup times. It's very hazardous, and I've not only seen, but almost got in an accident.

My suggestion would be to only allow parking on only one side of the street to avoid causing a one lane road. I would imagine the area isn't even zoned to have commercial trucks parking there, and perhaps some enforcement is needed. I did receive a flyer from a resident on that South facing side adjacent the school asking for “parking permits only" to be enforced. Coming from my apartment in Hollywood and dealing with permits, I wasn't necessarily a fan of that. I would just say no overnight parking, and perhaps a 4 hr time limit during the week unless you have a permit.

Lastly, on the same street, why the heck is there constantly water at the intersection of magnolia and Allott? I refer to the drainage (which surprisingly will be there on a 100 degree day) as "Lake Allott"

why is Magnolia constantly being ripped up. since I've moved to Sherman Oaks in 2003, Magnolia seems to have continual construction. We're going on 4 years, from Suplveda to Coldwater? What are they doing, my street still has drainage problems!

who do we call if there is a bicycle chain locked to a street sign pole? One of the kids from the middle school must have abandoned it.

Thanks for asking!!! Keep up the good work!

Wrecktum said...

Seems strange that there would be drug deals on Kling and Allott. That's a quiet residential with expensive houses and difficult egress.

You mentioned the pothole/water on Ventura Canyon and Woodman. Yes, that sucks, but what sucks more is the property on the NE corner; it's been unoccupied and boarded up forever and has a green chain link around it that's been recently heavily tagged by grafitti. It's a drag on a great part of the Oaks and I wish the owners would get their act together and start demo and/or remodel.