New Riverside Traffic Signal a Recipe for Disaster

Should I still be giving people the benefit of doubt?

I’ve been harping for quite sometime about how unsafe Riverside Drive in the Valley is for all users.

When a pedestrian lost his life last year right near the synagogue, I started turning the volume up about getting things done.

When I spoke with the rabbi, she said that a traffic signal had been approved for the intersection at Laurelgrove over seven years ago, but has just never been built.

That’s still a block away from where the death happened, but anything to slow down traffic and give people a better chance to cross the street is a blessing at this point.

I put together a letter from my homeowners association and sent it off to Paul Krekorian’s office asking for the light to finally be installed.

At Krekorian’s traffic summit in March, one of the engineers said that funding was coming and that it would be built within the year.


In September, the lights themselves were being installed at the intersection where I thought they were efforting to have them live before the high holidays, but I new they had to do more work than just planting the poles.

With the signals and street signs already in place, I would get emails here and there asking when it would go live.

I knew for one thing that the intersection had to be repainted to match all the new beg buttons, so I knew that would take a few days.

Earlier this week, work was being done to buffer out the old markings and I knew it would be just days away.

Oh yes, there’s one detail I’ve neglected to mention for suspenseful writing purposes…

You can’t see it!!!

For the last few months driving westbound on Riverside, I knew that some of the trees on the north side of the street were blocking views of two out of the three lights.

My guess was that they were going to clip them back or remove them, because, I don’t know…logic?

Yesterday morning, my mom came into my house livid.

She was driving over here (which she does daily) and noticed the lights had finally been turned on.

Knowing about this problem, she turned back to have a look for herself and couldn’t believe this was left alone.

In fact, she went around the block again and parked to take the picture above.

I rode my bike down that morning as well and from my camera’s perspective, it doesn’t look that bad.



The reason behind that is traffic is normally moving about 30 mph faster than me and the lower position of my camera next to where a driver’s eyeline would normally be lessens the occlusion.

And the camera is crappy too, but you have an idea.

That afternoon, I had to drive that stretch and maintaining the 40 mph speed limit (which is too high), the lights look confusing.

The one of the far left is so spread apart from the two you can’t see, it’s a bit confusing if this is traffic signal is directed towards you.

I don’t care what the traffic standards say is the proper distance where a person needs to see the lights.

In reality, people drive too fast on this street and by the time the would make eye contact, it will be too late.

All this would have taken the past few months is a simple eyeball test driving down the street to say, “Huh. That’s weird.”

Instead of improving safety at this intersection, we might have just made it worse.

Please let the councilmember know this is unacceptable and that we would hate to see another life be taken before action is taken.

Either call (818) 755-7676 or email at to voice your concern.