The following is a news release from Councilman Greig Smith’s Office:
The Wilbur Ave. working group met for the first time this week and held a highly constructive discussion and review of Department of Transportation’s (DOT) tentative proposals to address traffic and safety questions related to the re-configuration of the street.
The appointees consisted of DOT officials, our Transportation and Planning Deputy, the President of a local home owners association, and three members each from Northridge West Neighborhood Council and Porter Ranch Neighborhood Council.
DOT’s tentative proposal was to preserve most of the current configuration and keep all of the bike lanes intact on Wilbur Ave. There would be slight modifications to provide better access to the gated communities on Wilbur by expanding a portion between Devonshire St. and Chatsworth St. back to two lanes, where very few homes have frontage. Between Devonshire St. and Nordhoff St., where the majority of the street has houses fronting on Wilbur, they proposed keeping the configuration as it currently exists, with one travel lane in each direction.
The proposal was presented, the Working Group reviewed it, discussed it, and made several suggestions. However, the tentative plan was largely met with approval because it addressed many of the traffic flow and safety concerns that people from the various constituencies voiced.
The Working Group is not a decision-making body. Its role is to analyze the proposals and give input on behalf of all community stakeholders on the DOT recommendations. Their input will be incorporated with DOT’s proposed changes, and the recommendations will be presented at a joint public meeting of Northridge West and Porter Ranch Neighborhood Councils so that the public can review them and give their input.
This has been and will continue to be an open, collaborative process that has generated a great deal of constructive community dialogue.
I strongly support Neighborhood Councils serving this role in communicating the sentiments and needs of community members on a highly localized level. The Neighborhood Council system was established by the City Charter to fulfill exactly this type of advisory function. Most of them already have transportation committees and are highly engaged and knowledgeable about local traffic issues.
The joint Neighborhood Council meeting will be open to all members of the public. We will announce the date, time and location in our newsletter and on our website at www.CD12.org.