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ACONA: Jan. 7 Meeting Highlights

Tom Muttaraid (far left) listens to ACONA Co-founder Elliott Gold (center) speak during the Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting, Jan. 8.
Tom Muttaraid (far left) listens to ACONA Co-founder Elliott Gold (center) speak during the Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting, Jan. 8.
Attendees of the Jan. 7 Altadena Coalition of Neighborhood Associations meeting had plenty to vent about the evening's topic: traffic and parking issues.

The topic for the night mostly involved ordinances and laws governing the issuance of parking tickets over blocked driveways and sidewalks and hikers reportedly clogging neighborhoods with their vehicles.

Traffic and parking questions have always come up at previous ACONA meetings, said Elliot Gold, co-founder of ACONA.

CHP officers Tom Miller and Xavier Bejar and members from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works, Traffic and Lighting Division were also present to answer questions.

Miller reiterated that it is very much illegal for a parked vehicle to block a driveway and/or sidewalk and that a vehicle can be towed if the driver is not present to move the vehicle if homeowners cannot exit their driveways.

Frequent hikers in the mountain areas have reportedly posed massive parking problems for residents who live in those neighborhoods, according to some of the night's speakers.

One speaker, a 38-year resident of Cocopan Drive, said she witnesses hikers taking almost all of the parking outside of residences. Some homeowners can't park in their own neighborhood, the speaker said.

For county areas, the majority of these traffic issues are matters for the California Highway Patrol, Miller said.

"We would come up as an enforcer and take a look at it. Based on my observation of what's going on at the time I would either cite them, or warn them," Miller said.

Miller, a public information officer and community officer, handles roughly one-quarter of the parking enforcement calls and traffic law enforcement in Altadena.

What the situation boiled down to was for law enforcement to be at the right place, at the right time; Officers and deputies need to be out conducting enforcement and witness the violations taking place for citations to be issued.

Some violations tend to not be caught by law enforcement due to the CHP and Sheriff's Department being understaffed.

John Benedict, captain of the Altadena Sheriff's Station, said their parking enforcer works five days a week, only eight hours a day during daylight hours. Outside of the mentioned hours, residents should call the CHP for parking issues.

Tom Muttaraid, from the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works Traffic and Lighting Division, said investigators can be called out to conduct a study in areas where traffic and speed problems are persistent to determine a course of action to deter the problems.

Future ACONA meetings are scheduled for March 4, May 6, September 23 and November 4.

For information, visit aconaonline.org.
Steve Lamb January 08, 2014 at 11:37 PM
The only possible long term economy for Altadena is hiking. The trails have been here since the 1870s...LONG before any of the folks complaining were born, let alone bought their houses......
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger January 09, 2014 at 01:04 AM
PARKING: LAKE AVE.. When The Eaton canyon toll road was closed for years after the 2004-2005 rains, it seems a lot of people shifted to other trails. I believe the parking on top of lake has some newer restrictions. However those restriction are more than confusing. The signs might point toward lake ave. Then the next little block down, two signs point directly toward each other, making parking IN THE INTERSECTION ILLEGAL? Or the arrows are meant for the side st. Don't know. Eaton canyon at PINECREST. The homeowners closest to the gate successfully acquired restrictions making everyone park in front of other homeowners houses. The guy that locks the gate every night actually has personality now, and is not mad at everyone anymore. And no, their is no sign on the gate warning hikers that it will be locked at sunset. The sign 10, and 20 years ago said half an hour after sunset, but it is now locked at sunset without warning. The opening 1/2 a mile down on Altadena DR. seems to be getting more popular. It was the way we got in when the gate was closed for a few years, as well as the gate on pinecrest getting locked has made it popular. Wherever you park, park in clear view of a house, as car windows get smashed and things stolen more from cars hidden from view. As for people complaining, .... I remember in the 80's when people were moving to developments surrounded by farms. I think it was Moreno valley where they would buy a house next to farms that had been there for a hundred years, then complain about the smell of cows.
rubberband January 09, 2014 at 09:38 AM
long term economy answer is hiking for Alta Dena........ great trails...but then you GOTTA DO SOMETHING about the folks getting stranded and calling for rescues...you lose any revenue you gain by the cost of the rescue choppers and emergency guys/gals.
Steve Lamb January 09, 2014 at 02:36 PM
Except of course that those rescuers are on duty 24/7 anyway and a part of the hardwired cost of county government. False argument.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger January 09, 2014 at 07:21 PM
The Altadena Mountain rescue are volunteer, and I believe more training than most. Altadena is country area. But....how do hikers help the local economy?
rubberband January 09, 2014 at 07:42 PM
Um...they...uh....hike...and buy hiking stuff? In your city? O wait...the TRAILS bring hikers and then they are spending money in your town if they hang around? Maybe? Am i close at all? (HEY! Related but only just....Buzz get thee to GoLite....best gear EVER...love the place....went to the outlet in Cabazon and it's a very awesome place for anyone who enjoys outdoorsy trekking/running/going....Outlet has good prices, still not cheap tho so I am slowly replacing all my gear with Golite stuff. Check it out, you dig it the most.) http://www.golite.com/.............and if you go to the outlet, there are other Buzz approved shops right next to it...Merrell, Under Armour, PUMA...etc....http://www.cabazonoutlets.com/directory
rubberband January 09, 2014 at 07:46 PM
@ Steve....so rescue services already paid for then? O.K.,so my argument is invalid...AND...if i get stranded, I'll get stranded there... because some cities are not like that, and I understood that some people who get "rescued" can be charged.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger January 09, 2014 at 08:13 PM
Yeah, I know spending by hikers.....I don't see it as even 1% of 1%. I will check out the stores, thanks
Steve Lamb January 09, 2014 at 09:09 PM
Rubberband- yes they do charge some people for getting rescued, but no those folks are there, paid and the equipment is constantly maintained. Fortified- if you can manage to get to the Altadena Historical Society, you may want to have a gander at the preserved Altadena Chamber of Commerce yearly books. What you will find is a thriving business community in Altadena until 1939 when the major access to the Angeles went from rail and car through Altadena to the Angeles Crest Highway. That highway began Altadenas long business district decline that culminated in the late 1960s. It also, if you go to the LaCanada library and look at their Chamber of Commerce books began the expansion of their business district. Some Altadena businesses even moved from here to LaCanada. If you check into Amys Patio Café, El Patron, or Foxs on the weekend you will find they do a lot of hiker business.
Fortified- AKA Carlos Danger January 09, 2014 at 09:33 PM
From what I saw in the 60's, and 70's, changing demographics, school busing in Pasadena, and "white flight" seemed to be the main driver of the area. By the time the seventies were over, mansions were cheap as a vacant lot, and small houses were boarded up with a price of $15,000. If what you say is true, it might be one of the things setting up a decline. Thanks for the info. I will read up.

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