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Mailbag: Road users will keep shoppers away

December 15, 2009

Recently, I’ve noticed with amusement that the city is trying to promote local holiday shopping (“City takes shopping in hand,” Nov. 25). I even got a nice little card in the mail.

Unfortunately, local lawmakers seem to be willing to do little, if anything, to curb the problems that keep shoppers away in droves. The first problem is traffic scofflaws. I have spoken to many friends in other cities and they absolutely refuse to visit Burbank and Glendale because they feel that they’re taking their lives in their hands due to the abundance of rude and dangerous drivers.

Motorists regularly run red lights, speed, tailgate, pass to the right, cut people off and blow through pedestrian-occupied intersections with seeming impunity. Today, I witness an incident that could only be considered miraculous in that no lives were lost.

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On Saturday afternoon, at the height of the Christmas shopping season, the roads were busy and filled with pedestrians. About 3 p.m., heading south on Third Street, I saw in my mirror a new black Mercedes pull into the right turn only lane at Magnolia Boulevard, and when the light turned green, the driver attempted to illegally pass all of the cars waiting for the light to the right.

Failing at that (the drivers outgunned him and would not let him in, creating a dangerous speed competition) he then pulled out to the left, across the double yellow line and gunned past them to the left, in the path of oncoming traffic. I should mention that he did this right in front of the police station.

He then repeated the action, passing another line of cars in the wrong lane (myself included) near the intersection of Angeleno and Third, then took off at about 60 mph.

I cannot help but wonder at all of the community outrage over such “vital matters” as tree trimming and cell-phone towers, yet seem to show no outrage at the abundance of motorists who go out of their way to display contempt for traffic laws and disregard for human life.

I sincerely hope that the new chief of police will make it a priority to crack down on traffic scofflaws before more people die at the hands of these cowards.

JOHN S. SOET

Burbank

It’s simple: Let’s just replace everyone

With the recent school superintendent fiasco (“Officials: Burbank supt. leaving,” Dec. 5) hopefully topping off Burbank’s Year of Living Sloppily, perhaps it is time to consider making some serious changes around town.

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