Parents who use residential side streets when picking up La Cañada High School students can no longer park there from 2 to 4 p.m. on school days, after the City Council voted Monday to enact a "no stopping" restriction in response to noise and traffic complaints.
The decision to ban afternoon parking along Viro and Alveo roads, Lamour Drive and parts of Belita Lane came after a series of discussions between city officials and homeowners fed up with their street fronts doubling as parking lots.
Council passed a resolution making the restriction effective immediately, and signs are to be installed in the next few weeks. The resolution also gives homeowners the right to seek parking permits for areas currently restricted to one- or two-hour parking periods.
To determine the scope of the no-stopping order, the city sent a survey polling interest in parking solutions. The areas selected were determined by a two-thirds majority of respondents, according to city traffic engineer Erik Zandvliet. Traffic was a concern, but not the only one, Zandvliet said.
"We're trying to address a safety issue," he said. "That's not a very good condition to be in — cars double parked, parked in driveways. We don't want that."
Some homeowners addressed the council, saying the proposed restrictions would simply force cars to go deeper into the neighborhood to find parking. Richard and Frances Kasuyama, who live on a part of Belita Lane not covered by the restriction, requested a better solution.
"It seems like we're just pushing an undesirable situation a half a block further into the neighborhood," Richard Kasuyama said. "We don't feel it's going to alleviate the problem at Viro and Foothill."
Councilman Dave Spence recommended looking into organizing more parking options at Hahamongna Watershed Park, across the street from LCHS. The city of Pasadena, which owns the park, currently provides parking for the high school during the week.
"I don't see why we're pushing this into a highly residential area when we have so much open space over [at the park]," Spence said.
Mayor Laura Olhasso said she favored trying the ban on a test basis to see if the impact merits residents' concerns. If so, and enough people were upset by the restrictions, it might convince La Cañada Unified School District officials to help find a solution to a problem that is essentially their own.
"Right now, it's just out of sight, out of mind," she said.
Council unanimously approved the resolution, deciding to use the remainder of the school year to monitor the success or failure of the situation. Olhasso requested the city meet with stakeholders after that time, including LCUSD and Pasadena officials, to discuss a longer-term fix to the problem.
"We'll see," Olhasso said. "We'll just see how it goes."