CityWatch, Oct 21, 2008
Vol 6 Issue 85
Different Kind of Toll Road
By Stephen Box
At 9 pm on Tuesday a week ago, residents of Hazeltine Avenue in Valley Glen raced from their homes in response the sound of a crashing vehicle on the street.
They found wrecked parked cars, collateral damage left in the wake of a speeding southbound motorist who lost control of his vehicle in this quiet residential neighborhood. A pickup truck was hit so hard, its rear axle came loose. It was pushed into the Hummer that was parked in front.
All of this took place in the same location where a hit and run driver took Michael Duffin's life three weeks ago as he left his parked car and attempted to cross the street to his home. CityWatch story.
As local residents searched for victims, one neighbor ran down the street to the front yard where the speeding motorist's vehicle sat, only to find it empty. The driver had fled on foot, abandoning the vehicle.
When the dust had settled, several dozen neighbors stood surveying the debris and wrecked vehicles on their street. It became apparent that this is a neighborhood under siege as one woman commented, "There is no way my kids are gonna walk to school now!"
If we are to be a City of Greatness, it starts with reclaiming our streets, our public space, and working together to ensure that people can enjoy their neighborhoods without living in fear.
(Stephen Box is a cyclist activist and writes for CityWatch. He can be reached at: Stephen@ThirdEyeCreative.net.)