For the second straight week since the street racing collision that claimed three innocent lives in Burbank on August 3, 2021 occurred, the subject of reckless driving and street racing came up at Glendale City Council on August 17, 2021. Many who drive on Glenoaks Blvd. in Glendale (and Burbank) have witnessed speed contests and reckless driving at any given hour, and feel it is only a matter of time before Glendale witnesses the kind of horrific collision that our neighboring city has suffered. To the careless drivers who endanger the rest of the public on our city streets, the Alameda border means nothing. Our cities share this problem.
Dan Brotman has been sensitive to the traffic conditions on Glendale streets. Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, he supported the Slow Streets program as a means of increasing public safety. His views on development and environmental preservation have also lent themselves to better public street safety. Prior to the tragedy in Burbank, Brotman expressed his optimism that planned modifications to Glenoaks Blvd. would result in lower driving speeds due to the required narrowing of traffic lanes. He’s been persistent and consistent when it comes to alleviating traffic density and improving public safety on our streets.
It was reassuring to hear Mr. Brotman bring up the growing issue of street racing and reckless driving during the discussion of how the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office handles misdemeanor cases. In the attached clip, Councilmember Brotman asks a series of questions to Glendale Police Chief, Carl Povilaitis. His inquiries are answered by the chief and GPD Capt. Robert William.
Recently, several Glendale residents approached the Glendale Police Department with a request to assemble a community meeting to address the ongoing problem of speeding and street racing. Officer Jose Gutierrez on GPD’s Community Relations Team presented the idea to his sergeant and others at GPD, and the suggestion received GPD approval within two weeks. It is currently in the planning stages for speaker, time, location, etc., so is likely still weeks away. Our City Council members will be informed about it too. It is the hope of many in the community that some members of Glendale City Council* will participate in the planned meeting. By doing so, they will gain a deeper and more detailed understanding of the public’s needs, desires, and ideas to increase the safety of our public streets. With that information, they can proceed to use their positions as our elected public servants to create effective change on this issue.
I encourage all interested Glendale residents to participate in the event organized by GPD, and to invite friends, neighbors, and relatives who want to be a part of the process. Please contact Officer Jose M. Gutierrez in GPD’s Community Relations Team at JMGutierrez@glendaleca.gov to request up to date information on the upcoming meeting.
The changes we make in the future may save your life, or that of someone you love.
*My personal preference for City Council participation would include councilmembers Ardy Kassakhian and Dan Brotman (consider this an invitation). My reasons for choosing Mr. Brotman are spelled out above. Mr. Kassakhian, has also demonstrated sincere concern for this public safety issue. Additionally, as a father, he will have to face the day when his own child asks him for the car keys to drive the streets of Glendale. His motivation to seek solutions for safer roads is both public and personal. This selection is limited to two councilmembers only since the presence of a third may be a violation of the Brown Act.