September 13, 2020

Pre-SMART Families attempts to bring attention to Meridian Avenue

Many members of SMART Families have been battling the City of South Pasadena government for years or even decades, to bring attention to the ever increasing traffic issues on the street. Here are just a few of the attempts to communicate these concerns to the city, over the last year:

Letter to Councilmember Khubesrian, June 26, 2019:

Letter to Public Works Department, July 16, 2019:

South Pasadena Review article "Woman Hits a Bureaucratic Brick Wall" from January 30, 2020 (link):

I am a resident of South Pasadena who lives on Meridian Avenue, and was just involved in a horrific traffic accident two weeks ago while attempting to turn left onto Meridian Avenue from Bonita (my side street), which totaled my car. I wanted to reach out to you about my own experiences trying to work with the City of South Pasadena in light of your article, “Council Hears Safety Complaints” (the Review, on Jan. 24).

In August of 2006, several Meridian Avenue residents and I spoke at the City Council meeting and voiced our concerns about the speed and numbers of cars on Meridian Avenue. At the time, we heard identical comments about a need to “further discuss traffic safety on Meridian and Fremont,” comments from many of the same City Council members who were in attendance at the meeting on Jan. 14, 2020. Since and before 2006, I have continually voiced my concerns with a variety of commissions and city employees, and attended City Council meetings about safety issues on our streets.

Last July, after a telephone call from Kristine Courdy, deputy public works director at the City of South Pasadena (initiated after my discussion with a City Council member), and at Ms. Courdy’s request, I sent an email requesting stop signs on Meridian Avenue on Oak and Maple. My most recent communication, in my monthly effort to follow up on this request, came on Jan. 3, 2020, and was as follows:

“This request is still in our queue. We have a contract with a data collection company, however we can only take counts when school is in session and the weather is good. Therefore collecting data in late November, December and early January is not ideal. We will be working to schedule counts towards the end of January (weather permitting) so we can capture data that accurately reflects the situation.”

This is pretty much the same response I have received every month since my initial email in July 2019. It is rather disingenuous of the city and its council members to feign concern about our predicament as if none of these issues have been raised before. They have simply chosen to ignore them.

It is my hope that with your recent media coverage, further investigation could be made into why the city refuses to take action until a fatality has occurred. And, quite frankly, the verdict is still out whether this most recent accident on Fremont will inspire them to indeed take any action at all.

Susan Sulsky, Meridian Avenue