Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Reminder: Keep A Fire Lane Open*

*Post originally published July 2, 2015.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2014. Last October's fire on the slope between Lake View Ave and the Red Car Property (caused by a blown transformer), showed just how tricky it is for the LAFD to navigate our narrow winding streets.  (Click on photos to enlarge.)

Luckily, there was no wind and the damage was confined to the brush on a slope where homeowners had done their brush clearance.  A lot of neighbors on Lake View got a wake up call about the importance of keeping a lane of traffic open for emergency vehicles.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, October 4, 2014.  Most neighbors on this part of Lake View already  took brush clearance and tree trimming seriously. 
Photo: Jonathan Vandiveer, August 13, 2010.  Riverside Place is one of the narrowest streets in the neighborhood.  Many of our streets have only one access point.  It's not just the 4th of July when we need to keep a lane of traffic open to for emergency vehicles, but all year round.
Photo: Diane Edwardson, July 22, 2012.  LAFD Company 56 is our local fire station and they are about the only crew with a small truck who really know the intricacies of our often substandard hillside streets, as seen above on Peru and Walcott in the Semi Tropic Spiritualists Tract

Some of our narrow streets and "corners" have hairpin turns and steep grades and only one means of access.  Don't block the street because you couldn't walk a few hundred feet.  If it's too far for you to walk, it might be time for you to clean out your garage and park in it.   
Photo: Diane Edwardson, June 12, 2015.  The short end of Corralitas is the widest and flattest part of the street.  It's also only part of the street where people can park cars on both sides. 

A few minutes before the above photo, I watched as a LAFD ladder truck, responding to the same call, made several attempts at a left turn from Rosebud onto Corralitas.  It could not make the turn.  This compact fire engine LAFD 220 was already on scene of the car accident.

Since record drought and 4th of July fireworks (that started in May) have hillside homeowners a little more on edge than usual this year, we remind you to take responsibility for your own neighborhood, beyond just doing your own brush clearance.  

If you see someone blocking the street, fire hydrant or red curb, politely ask them not to park there.  If they're "unloading their car," offer to help them, so they feel compelled to move their car faster.  If you're having a party, ask your guests to carpool, wear walking shoes, park legally and don't block anyone's driveway.  We actually a sign on our front door for parties "Did you park legally? Are you blocking neighbor's driveways?"  Inevitably, a handful of people turn around and move their cars before coming in the door.  

LAPD and LAFD are telling people, if you see someone shooting off fireworks, call 1-877-ASK-LAPD. If you see smoke, safely investigate.  If you see fire (not a BBQ) call 911.