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Traffic Talk

Resident Seeks Light at End of the Snarl


Dear Traffic Talk:

I am extremely interested in getting a traffic light installed at the corner of Roscoe Boulevard and Yolanda Avenue in Northridge. There seems to be quite a traffic snarl at that intersection.

Is a light there a possibility?

Alice Kavechian, Northridge


Dear Alice:

Preliminary findings indicate that a light there may be justified, according to officials from the Los Angeles Department of Transportation.

A review of records revealed that a request for a traffic light at the Roscoe/Yolanda intersection has not been submitted to the department in the last 10 years, said Ray Wellbaum, a transportation engineer.

A light there might be appropriate, particularly because the nearest lights are approximately a quarter-mile away, he said. However, a proper study will be done.

Engineers will review police records to find the intersection's accident history. The intersection could be eligible for a light if it has a history of accidents that would be correctable by the device, Wellbaum said.

Engineers will also conduct a manual traffic count. Generally, high traffic counts contribute to accidents.

Other elements of a study include a visual inspection of the site to determine the quality of visibility and the existence of other traffic devices, red curbs and pavement messages.

Lights near school sites would be given a higher priority.

Residents who wish to request a traffic light at any location should submit a written request to the appropriate LADOT office. In the area west of the San Diego Freeway, Wellbaum said, letters can be sent to him at 19040 Vanowen St.

Residents can also contact their City Council representatives to initiate the process.

A study is performed within 90 days after a written request has been submitted. Once approved, the actual installation could take up to a year.

The department will begin the process for the Roscoe/Yolanda intersection in the coming weeks, according to Wellbaum.


Dear Traffic Talk:

I have a question about a traffic light at the corner of Devonshire Street and Winnetka Avenue in Chatsworth.

Motorists traveling west on Devonshire who want to make a left turn on southbound Winnetka encounter a left-turn arrow that has been dysfunctional for a long time.

It was fixed once after I contacted Councilman Hal Bernson's office, but it is not working again.

Evelyn Lazar, Canoga Park


Dear Evelyn:

The left-turn arrow at that location is not designed to come on at all times, according to authorities.

The light was installed to accommodate traffic during heavy left-turn periods, said Brian Gallagher, of the Los Angeles Department of Transportation traffic lights division. It will not come on when there are just a few cars waiting to turn left or when left turns for westbound traffic are easy to make, he said.

When the regular light is green, drivers can turn left--even if the left-turn arrow is not on--after yielding to through traffic and pedestrians, Gallagher said.

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