Firestone traffic

Dear Editor:As a longer time Downey resident, I agree with many of the comments on your website about Firestone Boulevard. Firestone Boulevard has always been a highly-congested street, but with all the recent business developments over the past few years, the street is a virtual death trap. The street has poorly-timed street lights, run down pavement, pot holes and traffic lanes that are far from adequate for the amount of traffic currently running through our city. The pavement alone between the Downey Theatre and Downey Avenue resembles that of a moonscape. Stewart and Gray Road was often a short cut used by many of Downey's residents to avoid the horrendous traffic on Firestone. Over the past five years, Stewart and Gray has turned into a freeway. Most times of the day the traffic on Stewart and Gray is worse than that on Firestone. Those of us who live on Stewart and Gray Road have had to suffer the consequences of a money hungry, egocentric City Council, who's only concern seems to be how to bring in as many pharmacies and retail establishments into the city without taking into consideration the quality of life for Downey residents. All the while the city council members continue to stoke their own egos on the front page of The Downey Patriot and virtually break their arms patting themselves on the back. I have personally seen numerous accidents on Stewart and Gray between Paramount Boulevard and Downey Avenue over the past few years by vehicles that are blatantly breaking the posted speed limit, including vehicles traveling in excess of 50 MPH in a school zone. A personal friend of mine was almost killed over a year ago and today remains permanently disabled due to a speeding driver and the lack of any crosswalk between Downey Avenue and Paramount Boulevard. I have begged and pleaded with two different police chiefs to please station a police car on Orizaba Street and Stewart and Gray Road in an effort to help reduce the speeding drivers but my requests have fallen on deaf ears. I challenge our city officials to focus more on the quality of life for our city's residents and less on their political careers. If they are truly concerned about the quality of life in this city, then perhaps they should focus on the important issues, the small things, like reducing and controlling the flow and speed of traffic through our neighborhoods. In my opinion, all of these issues relate back to the fact that our elected officials have failed us. It is clear and simple. Personal gain and stature above the needs of the community. It remains to be seen if this new city council and mayor will make any real changes to the city charter that will help reverse the excessive urban sprawl which has really reduced the quality of life in Downey. One can only hope that this current council and mayor will be less concerned about bringing in more business and money to fill the city coffers while disregarding the wishes of long-term Downey residents and, maybe, just help reduce speeding, traffic congestion and fix our broken streets and infrastructure. -- Moises Alonso, Downey

********** Published: January 13, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 39