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Questions and Answers About Your Commute : Barriers a Last Resort to Stop Illegal Turns


Dear Traffic Talk:

I'm tired of waiting while cars make illegal left turns out of the Encino-Tarzana Medical Center onto westbound Burbank Boulevard. To do that they must ignore the "No Left Turn" sign and cross through the left-turn pocket allowing westbound Burbank traffic to enter the medical center campus.

Visibility is very limited and distance judgment is difficult because Burbank Boulevard passes under the freeway just east of the left-turn pocket.

Can the city implant concrete barriers similar to those in parking lots to prevent these risk-takers?

Terry Stanger


Dear Terry:

The city Department of Transportation tries to avoid installing concrete barriers on city streets because they often pose more of a traffic hazard than the driving situation they are installed to prevent.

According to department spokesman Ray Welbaum, who handles all such issues on streets west of the San Diego Freeway, your best bet would be to call Valley traffic and request that they beef up illegal-turn enforcement at that location.

However, Welbaum promised to search past accident records for that spot; he may well find that the intersection is dangerous enough to warrant the concrete barriers after all. Stay tuned.

Dear Traffic Talk:

Could you possibly find out why Hubbard Street in Sylmar between Bradley Street and Glenoaks Boulevard has been prepared (grooved and gutted) for repaving but nothing else has occurred for literally months?

It's in a fairly low-income area, and perhaps the city feels we have little recourse, but the wear and tear on cars on this major local thoroughfare is getting very bad indeed.

Claudia Feeney

San Fernando

Dear Claudia:

The repaving of that stretch of Hubbard Street is due to be completed by May 10, according to Tonya Durrell, spokeswoman for the city's Department of Public Works.

A freeway closure and rain a few weeks ago caused the long-term construction delays, Durrell said.

Dear Traffic Talk:

The southbound entrance to the San Diego Freeway from Burbank Boulevard at the top of the bridge does not have a meter on or off sign. This is the only one that does have a metered flow stoplight at the bottom of the hill but no sign that says if it is off or on.

It makes a difference when you are choosing between taking a crowded freeway onramp or continuing west on Burbank.

Mark Landow

Valley Village

Dear Mark:

Not all freeway meters get "meter on" signs, according to Caltrans spokeswoman Pat Reid.

Caltrans engineers checked out the meter at Burbank at the San Diego Freeway and found it to be "visible and appropriate according to state guidelines."

However, the engineers said they would look into that spot and determine if a sign would make driving safer. If so, they will install a warning sign.

Traffic Talk appears Fridays in The Times Valley Edition. Readers are invited to submit comments and questions about traffic in the Valley. Please write to Traffic Talk, Los Angeles Times, 20000 Prairie St., Chatsworth, CA 91311. Include your full name, address and day and evening phone numbers. Letters may be edited, and no anonymous letters will be accepted. To record your comments, call (818) 772-3303. Fax letters to (818) 772-3385. E-mail questions to

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