SAN DIEGO — North Park residents in the Altadena neighborhood fear for the safety of pedestrians, cyclists, and children from excessive speeds down their quiet residential streets. A problem, they say, that has plagued the community for decades.
Neighbors living on 33rd Street and other side streets say they are seeing more and more commuters racing down their streets.
Neighbors say they have had cats and dogs get hit and they fear pedestrians could be next.
They are now circulating a petition in hopes of solving what they say has been a problem for decades. As of June 2, 254 people have signed a petition to convince the city to come forward with some traffic calming solutions, whether that is reducing speed limits, installing speed bumps or roundabouts, or putting in additional stop signs at nearby intersections.
“I spent hours and hours walking the neighborhood to publicize the petition and was shocked to learn that the community has been pleading with the city, and Saint Augustine High School, to address the traffic problems for literally decades," says Altadena neighbor, Terrence Morrissey.
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Morrissey and his neighbors have already approached administrators at Saint Augustine as well as their council representative Stephen Whitburn to try and put the brakes on the high speeds.
“It's not all related to Saint Augustine. While they are a big factor in speeding and reckless driving, it's also commuters using 33rd Street to commute to and from the 805," said Morrissey. "They treat it like an extension of the freeway, whereas 33rd and the surrounding streets simply can't handle the volume and speed of these commuters.”
Morrissey says Councilmember Whitburn has been receptive to the neighbors' concerns.
"I feel Councilmember Stephen Whitburn is doing more now than was done previously to put pressure on the city for real solutions."
Other neighbors, however, are frustrated that the city has not already addressed the issue.
"What’s maddening is that this has been going on for so long," said neighbor Sharon Tittle, who has lived in the community for more than 20 years. "This still has not been resolved. It’s a tragedy waiting to happen."
Councilmember Whitburn says he is working to prevent that from happening.
In a statement, the District 3 councilperson said, "Residents should not have to fear for their lives when taking their dog for a walk, playing with their kids in the yard, or just walking around their neighborhood. We are working closely with community members in addressing these concerns. Our office has met with Altadena residents to hear directly from them about what solutions they would like to see for this area. We have submitted their petition along with suggestions for traffic calming measures to the Transportation Department. Thanks in big part to our residents, the Transportation Department will now be evaluating the area for traffic calming solutions. We are looking forward to those proposed solutions to help make our streets safer for everyone.