New proposal aims to reduce traffic accidents on busy Pacoima street

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A new proposal by Los Angeles City Councilman Felipe Fuentes aims to redesign a stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard in Pacoima following an alarming number of traffic accidents.

Cisco Ortega has been riding his bike along Van Nuys Boulevard for years, and says he knows how dangerous it can be.

"I've seen people get hit on bikes. I've seen people, you know, just having accidents in the major crossroads," Ortega said.

Los Angeles City Councilman Felipe Fuentes wants to change the stretch of Van Nuys Boulevard between San Fernando Road and Laurel Canyon Boulevard in Pacoima.

"We've averaged about one severe collision a month for the last five years," Fuentes said.

The plan would work in conjunction with the Vision Zero Network, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths by 2025.

The proposal includes high visibility crosswalks, removal of the center median to make left turns easier and converting on-street parking spaces into seating space for visitors and businesses.

The makeover would also include bike lanes so that cyclists don't have to ride along the sidewalk.

"They can actually ride on the street on a bicycle lane, making it safer for the pedestrians and the cyclists," Los Angeles Police Department Detective Bill Bustos said.

Ortega says he would like to see bike lanes, although he actually feels safer on the sidewalk and tries to be mindful of pedestrians.

"Sometimes I'll use my horn from far away," he said.

Some business owners say they're concerned the changes would make parking less accessible.

Fuentes held a community meeting Tuesday night to receive public input.
Related Topics:
newstraffictraffic fatalitiestraffic accidentbicyclebicycle crashaccidentPacoimaLos AngelesSan Fernando Valley
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