Molina Announces Motion To Study Traffic in Union Pacific Area

No new safety measures approved for Union Pacific community after highway safety commission study.

By Elizabeth Hsing-Huei Chou, EGP Staff Writer

County Supervisor Gloria Molina announced Wednesday she will introduce a motion to do a six to nine month “comprehensive traffic calming study” of the Union Pacific community.

She plans to present the motion at the Dec. 14 County Board of Supervisor’s meeting. “The Union Pacific traffic study process will include several communitywide meetings,” said Molina.

State guidelines will be used in the Public Works’ study to determine minimum requirements for traffic signals, stop signs or other traffic calming measures to avoid losing out on state and federal road funds.

According to a statement from her office, Molina is requesting “non-traditional calming devices” such as bulb-outs, because they are “more flexible in their application and often more effective.”

Residents and community members in the Union Pacific neighborhood had appealed the County Department of Public Works and the Highway Safety Commission for additional traffic calming measures.

In July, the Highway Safety Commission directed staff to conduct a study of traffic safety in the Union Pacific area, the results of which was presented on Nov. 3. They responded to staff’s report by reinforcing existing traffic safety measures in the area.

The commission directed County Department of Public Works to paint speed limit markers onto the pavement next to the existing 25-miles-per-hour speed limit signs on Union Pacific Boulevard between Indiana Street and Mariana.

They also directed public works to forward speed surveys to the East Los Angeles County Highway Patrol to assist “appropriate enforcement,” and reminded them to send a “Suggested Route to School Map” to Eastman Elementary School staff and parents.

The commission did not addressed the original proposals to improve of traffic safety in the area that were made by Union Pacific residents. Those requests included speed bumps and stop signs.

“The community still feels very strongly about the traffic safety issue. It’s good that something’s been implemented, but it’s not enough to keep the community safe,” said Debbie Vongviwat, community organizer for East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice.

At the time, Vongviwat said they planned to take the Union Pacific neighborhood’s traffic issues back to County Supervisor Gloria Molina, who had originally suggested residents go through the County Department of Public Works and the Highway Safety Commission.

The Union Pacific neighborhood was once home for Russian and German immigrants who have since been replaced by Latino immigrants. It has grown into a full-fledged residential neighborhood, complete with an elementary school, a church, a park, and a childcare center.

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December 2, 2010  Copyright © 2012 Eastern Group Publications, Inc.

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