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Remove French Park's 'Trial' Traffic Barriers

January 26, 2003

Re "School's Perils Are Blamed on Street Barriers," Jan. 15:

When my wife and I moved into the neighborhood, French Park and French Court were both peaceful and were not divided. Since the French Park Neighborhood Traffic Plan's "temporary barriers" were installed 16 months ago, the French Court neighborhood has definitely deteriorated just as described by Mike Saldana and Kim Gerda.

The quotes claiming an inability to "understand what could be perceived as a negative impact" and that the barriers are a "calming mechanism" are not from people who live in French Court. The barriers have in fact been imposed upon French Court in order to isolate it from French Park and have been justified by an unfair neighborhood vote.

Some facts about the voter-approved six-month barrier trial:

French Court is mostly a condominium and apartment building neighborhood.

Residents who live in apartment buildings were not allowed to vote. Condominium owners were allowed only one vote per condominium association.

French Park is "a neighborhood of tidy homes."

Residents who live in one, two, or three and even four-family homes were allowed to vote.

The "yes" vote to install temporary barriers carried by fewer than 10 votes.

The temporary barriers were placed inside French Court instead of French Park.

The temporary barriers were installed without environmental or safety impact studies.

The six-month trial is in its sixteenth month without the promised neighborhood vote.

It took a threatened lawsuit from the Santa Ana Unified School District to push the city into doing state-required impact studies after the fact.

The current promise for a neighborhood vote in two months means that the "temporary," "trial" barriers will have been in place for 18 months without neighborhood approval. The rational choice at this point is to remove the temporary barriers and go back to the drawing board to devise a plan that will have a positive impact on both neighborhoods.

Wade Little

Santa Ana

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