Community Council Formed Potrero Committee, but Not Rec Center Nor Temescal Committees

Dumping is common on Temescal Canyon Road.

CTN received the comment (below) and felt it raised a legitimate question about the Community Council’s intense focus on the George Wolfberg Park at Potrero.

“Maryam Zar and the PPCC (Pacific Palisades Community Council) continue to sit on their hands and do nothing to address the myriad, well-documented safety issues of the Recreation Center, while Potrero Canyon is handled with kid gloves.

“Why isn’t Zar calling for a similar gating of the Recreation Center as Potrero Canyon, where there is no parking lot anyway for kids to drive into and party?” the resident wrote. “Have there been tasering incidents, overdoses, nightly fireworks and drag racing in Potrero Canyon, as have been documented for months if not years in the Rec Center? I don’t recall seeing a SINGLE video showing incidents coming out of Potrero Canyon, yet this space oddly seems to be PPCC’s singular and obsessive focus. PPCC serves only one constituency when it comes it park safety and the safety of surrounding residents—and that is the residents of Potrero Canyon.”

Other residents, including this editor, who live on or near the rim of Temescal Canyon, face numerous issues and have for decades.

Last year with the rains, a portion of the east canyon sloughed off and partially buried two picnic tables. Park and Rec put up yellow “stay out” tape, but it took months before the mud was cleared up. The picnic tables need to be moved away from the slide and closer to the road (and the dead brush cleared).

Picnic tables are next to a slide and need to be moved closer to the road.

On October 31, a brush fire below Tahitian Terrace and near Pacific Coast Highway broke out and raced up the hill. Thanks to prompt Los Angeles Fire Department action, including an air response and favorable conditions (no wind), the fire was put out before it destroyed homes of the people who live on the rim.

This October 31 brush fire in Temescal Canyon Park was put out by firefighters before it could damage homes on the rim.

Routinely, the park is filled with graffiti, trash and shopping carts. At least five dead bodies have been found in Temescal (one was a gang victim, two were suicides and two were homeless – no foul play). The number of dead doesn’t include the man who died when the construction collapsed on him in 2013.

The road was paved in November 2022, but because there was a water leak on the lower portion of the road, a lane of this major thoroughfare was closed and remained closed for nearly a year. Kudos for Councilwoman Traci Park for advocating for money for repairs.

There is no fence around this park, which means that for years, transients can go and continue to go into the brush and camp—even though there are signs posted that it is illegal to do so. The Los Angeles Police Beach Detail and the Task Force on Homelessness have managed to keep this under control.

Rec and Parks haven’t done brush clearance in parts of Temescal Canyon Park, and they probably have been cited for it, but that doesn’t make it any safer. There have been two port-a-potties placed near the restrooms for months, but no reason given–does that mean there are issues with these restrooms?

Port-a-potties have been next to the park bathrooms for several months.

Traffic issues at the corner of Temescal and PCH are ongoing whenever Palisades High School is in session. Cars are lined up halfway back to the canyon during the opening and closing of school. For years, residents have asked Caltrans and the City to allow three lanes to turn left onto PCH, when the light changes, but that problem has been totally ignored—with Caltrans simply saying “there’s no room” to make that turn, even though they’ve received pictures of school buses, which illegally and routinely make the turn.

Cars are backed up Temescal Canyon in the morning and afternoon when Palisades High School dismisses. The light at PCH should be adjusted, but is not.

Even though cars and buses are not allowed to turn left from the third lane onto PCH, they routinely do when traffic is backed up in the mornings and afternoons.

CTN asked Zar, why a Potrero Committee? Because compared to the issues on Temescal, Potrero seems simplistic.

Zar responded: “Potrero—not simplistic. Actually, quite complex with hours of credible, steady, effective advocacy of PPCC that have been spent making sure soil slippage, gates, locks, fences, bathrooms and more are addressed, while also keeping an eye on brush clearance, signage, and most importantly responsible coastal access. Not done, yet.

“We made a Potrero Canyon Oversight Committee because in July or August 2022 the board decided there we many loose ends that needed to be addressed with the newly opened GWPPC (George Wolfberg Park at Potrero Canyon) and we needed to have an entity dedicated to chasing loose ends/failings such as slope slippage, lock mechanisms, graffiti, brush clearance, fence shortcomings, water leakage…. and making sure they came to fruition/were addressed and brought to closure.

“The PCOC was formed and has done A LOT to ensure that issues were softly addressed, and city held to account (we have tab on our website with a running set of updates constantly revised/renewed). We also wanted to push along the coastal access matter — if lateral trail, then to get the city and state agencies that needed to collaborate on right of re-entry talking/working together again. And if bridge, then addressing at PPCC/community for a discussion/re-affirmation of findings many years ago and a decision to move forward to the information/due diligence stage. All that has been done — to varying degrees of satisfaction for people on either side of the matter, but done and done responsibly, nevertheless.”

There is an easy trail through George Wolfberg Park. A Community Council oversite committee was established to review the bathrooms, fence and gate locks and keep the City accoutable.

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2 Responses to Community Council Formed Potrero Committee, but Not Rec Center Nor Temescal Committees

  1. 'joy' says:

    Good, thorough report on Potrero, et al. Best thing I’ve seen on the subject in ages.
    Cheers & happy holidays…

  2. Hagop Tchakerian says:

    The Pacific Coast Highway (PCH) stands as a beacon of natural splendor, particularly renowned for its awe-inspiring vistas along iconic coastal stretches like the majestic Big Sur. Meandering along the coastline, much of this scenic marvel is embraced by a two-lane, undivided highway, with some areas gracefully narrowing down to a single lane. Speed limits on this celebrated route undergo a symphony of variations, gracefully slowing to 25 mph on winding hairpin turns, only to sporadically crescendo to 55 mph in other expansive sections.
    The allure of the PCH finds its zenith in the road’s intimate dance with the coastline, endearing it to the hearts of perennial wanderers. However, navigating this picturesque route demands a vigilant eye on dynamic speed limits, especially in segments coursing through populous zones where reduced speeds become imperative. The challenges intensify during the embrace of summer fog and the winter snow, amplifying the potential for hazardous driving conditions. Notably, nighttime travel is discouraged due to safety concerns.
    It is crucial to acknowledge the occasional presence of landslides, a somewhat common occurrence in California, which may lead to construction-related delays or temporary road closures. Despite these inherent risks, the magnetic appeal of the PCH persists, continuously drawing in travelers enthralled by its breathtaking panoramas.
    Yet, within this tapestry of coastal charm, an intriguing incongruity unfolds concerning CALTRAN’s awareness. From the McClure Tunnel to the junction of Sunset Boulevard, a specific stretch surprisingly unfurls as a three-lane marvel, defying the perceived two-lane limit. This segment includes left-turn lanes from Temescal to PCH, contributing to a nuanced road configuration that merits attention.
    To reconcile this seeming discrepancy, I propose that CALTRAN officials embark on a visit to the intersection of PCH at Temescal and PCH at Sunset. A firsthand observation of the three-lane configuration will not only offer them insights into the existing infrastructure but also serve to rectify any misconceptions about the road’s layout. Such an initiative is pivotal in ensuring a comprehensive understanding of this enchanting highway and fostering a safer, more informed travel experience for all who embark on its winding journey.

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