Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Residents demand a safer Palisades Drive

The recent death of 18-year-old high school student Nicholas Rosser on the treacherous Palisades Drive near the end of Sunset Boulevard in Pacific Palisades, California has led to a groundswell of public support for new safety measures on the two-mile stretch of winding mountain road-- and a new website that contains a petition demanding:

"that the City, and its agencies, provide safe roadways for automobile, bicycle and pedestrian traffic on and across Palisades Drive and Sunset Boulevard.

"Immediate short-term measures must be implemented, including but not limited to, increased enforcement, signage, education, and all other methods necessary to eliminate preventable injury and death.

"Additionally, longer term planning, engineering, education and enforcement must also commence immediately..."

The movement, led by parents of local students and spread in an email campaign making use of elementary, middle and high school mailing lists, is building despite opposition by some residents of the Palisades Highlands community at the top of the road to keep the road "scenic" and "pristine"and claiming that accidents and deaths on the road could be curtailed if parents teach their kids how to drive.

The concerned citizens who want fixes on the road have called another meeting tonight at Rustic Canyon Park in the heart of the posh showbiz community whose residents include Steven Spielberg, Martin Short, Goldie Hawn, Ray Liotta and others.

From the Palisadian Post newspaper:

"According to Fire Station 23 Captain James Varney, as Rosser drove back uphill from Sunset, he lost control of his 2005 Acura SRX and spun out. Varney said that when Rosser's father came to the accident scene, his sobs were heart-wrenching.

"'If people could see the face of the father when he saw his son, it said it all,' Varney said."

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