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Deputies Issue 301 Weekend Citations on Whittier Boulevard : Parking, Stopping Rules Pressed to Curb Cruisers

August 20, 1987|MARY LOU FULTON | Times Staff Writer

PICO RIVERA — In a crackdown on weekend cruising of Whittier Boulevard, the City Council has approved a resolution to prohibit parking and stopping on the roadway from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

In its vote Monday, the council also authorized closure of two municipal parking lots north of Whittier Boulevard at 10 p.m. on weekends and directed staff members to begin procedures to permit regular roadblocks of the street should the cruising persist.

Cruising in Pico Rivera has increased dramatically in the last few weeks, clogging Whittier Boulevard and resulting in some traffic spilling over into residential areas. Residents have complained of loud music and drunken behavior late at night, and of garbage on front lawns.

23 Vehicles Towed

Last weekend, sheriff's deputies set up checkpoints on Whittier Boulevard at Passons and Paramount boulevards, allowing only residents and people "with legitimate business" on the street after dark, Sgt. Susan Perez said. Sheriff's deputies, including 12 assigned only to the boulevard, ordered the towing of 23 vehicles and issued 301 citations to cruisers over the weekend, she said. Some citations were for parking, but most were for unsafe vehicles such as those with altered suspensions, Perez said.

An existing emergency ordinance allows the Sheriff's Department to redirect traffic if it is a public hazard, she said.

The city is picking up the tab for the extra enforcement; the money is coming from a $50,000 allotment to a police contingency fund.

While the resolution is in effect, the council is seeking a permanent solution through a "no-stopping" ordinance, which cannot be implemented until the city receives Caltrans approval and signs can be posted, Assistant City Manager David Caretto said.

The process is likely to take a few weeks, he said, adding that regular roadblocks on the street also will require Caltrans approval since Whittier Boulevard is a state highway.

Parking Lots Closed

The weekend closing of parking lots also will take effect as soon as signs are posted. The lots, north of Whittier Boulevard, were built by the city so shoppers would have a place to park, he said. Caretto estimated each lot holds 20 to 30 vehicles.

Perez said similar "no-stopping" ordinances have been effective in reducing cruising in East Los Angeles and Montebello. The cruisers were "fairly cooperative" in Pico Rivera and there were no major incidents, she said, although police had to break up some parties on side streets and there was heavier traffic on Paramount Boulevard.

The cruising problem tends to move from city to city as officials enact ordinances to curb the favorite teen-age weekend activity, Perez said. She said there is more cruising during the summer and school vacation periods, and that it is likely to lessen once word gets out about the increased enforcement.

"This is the location of choice right now," she said. "We expect to see some improvement this weekend . . . We hope that they will go away."

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