On Any Given Morning: What Ails Sycamore Grove?

[[image:road_kill_mini_copy1.jpg::inline:1]]On any given morning, it doesn’t take long to discover what ails Sycamore Grove: too many cars.


Published April 11, 2007 by C.I.C.L.E.
By Josef Bray-Ali :: Originally published by the Sycamore Grove Monthly

(Photo by Josef Bray-Ali) Level Of Service = A. The LADOT works hard to move as many car as it can, as fast as it can, through our neighborhoods. Obviously, oppossums aren’t part of their equations. This animal was killed on March 12, 2007 near the intersection of Pasadena Avenue and Workman Road.


On any given morning, it doesn’t take long to discover what ails Sycamore Grove: too many cars.

The 8 a.m. rush to drop kids off at school is quickly followed by commuters speeding to get to work by 9 a.m. The Arroyo Park- way is moving at a crawl as motorists inch their way towards downtown – spewing noxious fumes all the way to the office. Figueroa is blasted by noise and exhaust as wave upon wave of drivers floor it between lights,
desperate to meet each red light ahead of them with a neck jolting flourish.

The road is filled, the streets are jammed, the air carries with it the heavy smell of rubber and car exhaust, and no one looks happy. The day seems to grumble, "Welcome to modern life in Sycamore Grove, suckers."

When I ride my bicycle to work, I sometimes wonder what my neighborhood would be like if more of my neighbors were able to join me, on their bicycles. Would the streets be quieter? Would I see as many car accidents (I've witnessed at least one every
month on Figueroa)?

When the streets are safe for bicycles, I imagine, what else are they safe for? I picture all the moms, with their walkers, toddlers, and groceries, peacefully crossing at intersections that are currently unsafe and crowded with fast moving cars.

On any given morning in Sycamore Grove, many of our troubles boil down to this: too many cars. The solution is simple: build streets that are safer for bicyclists, pedestrians, the elderly, and the young, and that are designed to grow local businesses instead of crush them with an overemphasis on the private automobile.