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Dangerous Intersection in Sherman Oaks Demands Traffic Remedy, Residents Say

Car crashes at a busy intersection threaten residents as well as students at Kester Avenue Elementary School, some claim.

The intersection of Kester Avenue and Weddington Street in Sherman Oaks has seen its share of gruesome car crashes, pedestrian close calls and hit-and-run side swipes.

Making the situation even more serious, Kester Avenue Elementary School is situated directly across from the intersection.

When school is in session parents and children cross the intersection with concern because there is no crosswalk or traffic light.

Residents who live in the apartment houses along the street say they often hear accidents.

“You will be inside your apartment, and suddenly you hear two cars hit. The tires screech, and then a loud collision. The first thing that goes through your head is whether anybody was killed,” said resident Teresa Vest.

Another resident, Mauricio Vega, said, "The whole neighborhood runs out into the street fearing the worst. You would think someone would have done something. Sooner or later, someone will get killed or really badly hurt. And look at all the kids here.”

Despite the rash of accidents, Sue Goldberg, principal of Kester Avenue Elementary, says that no efforts are being made to change the situation.

"We have had no issues with that, it has not come up for discussion," Goldberg said.

Goldberg cited a traffic light and crosswalk system in place one block up Kester Avenue at Clark Street and another at Magnolia. Crossing guards are stationed at both intersections. Students and parents are instructed to use those areas and not cross where the street is not properly marked.

However, many youngsters think they are saving time by crossing at Kester and Weddington where there no guards or crosswalk system. And nothing to slow the traffic down.

But still, the sound of near misses—squealing tires locked up in skidding panic and the blaring horns of angry, impatient motorists—has made some residents seek help from the city to slow vehicles down.

Calls to the city Department of Public Works by people in the neighborhood have not been returned.

Bootsey Malone May 21, 2011 at 05:18 PM
Woodman and Magnolia is another dangerous intersection.
Ellen Vukovich May 21, 2011 at 07:38 PM
May I suggest that the reporter contact the neighbors and tell them to contact their Council Member's office for help (Paul Krekorian) and the Los Angeles Department of Transportation? Those are the city personnel responsible for determining traffic controls in our neighborhoods.
Reasons May 21, 2011 at 08:23 PM
OMG!!!! Ya Think!!! I live on the corner of Kester & Moorpark and its the same thing every night & day... I would wake up to a crash & sleep to a crash . sometimes 4 accidents in a week... I would walk by the school & there would be accidents... Im dodging cars everyday walkin & driving... The valley is known for its Fast cars & Red light runners... Its like living in Europe, but at least they know how to drive there... People in the valley have there own Driving Manuel!!!! lol lol
TVLand May 22, 2011 at 06:27 AM
I have lived kitty-corner from the school and my windows face Kester and have been there for 8 years. I can tell you we HAVE spoken to the council members back when Wendy Gruel was there and we were told that it would not be possible as it would be "too many" lights and would disrupt the flow. I can't remember the other reasons but I have personally seen MANY of the accidents and it stuns me how apathetic they are when it comes to this.. a crossing guard was almost killed and they still turn a blind eye. Needless to say I have a parking space off the street because the line of cars have been taken out at least 3 times since I have been here.

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