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Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Streamling Traffic Signals on Sunset Blvd, - ATSAC

Work is performed on Sunset Blvd. which requires closure of the eastbound right lane in stages from PCH to Kenter for a project which will streamline the traffic signals. According to the contractor, the work along the street is expected to be completed by March of 2012. This project includes trenching for cables and sensors, upgrade of signal technology, installation of cameras, and left turn arrows.

A number of residents have asked what this is all about.

The upgrade of the traffic signals on Sunset is part of the Automated Traffic Surveillance and Control (ATSAC) System, a state of the art technology that can reduce travel time by 12 percent, intersection delay by 32 percent and intersection stops by 30 percent. Los Angeles is a pioneer in the use of this traffic mitigation technology. At a conference at Duke, they showed what all traffic control centers of the next century will look like. LA is the model for ATSAC.

The installation of the ATSAC technology aims to create a steady flow of traffic at 35 mi/hr on Sunset through the Palisades

The City's ATSAC control center is four floors underground below City Hall East.

The speed/traffic sensors along the freeways and the freeway cameras are part of the ATSAC system.

ATSAC is a computer-based traffic signal control system that monitors traffic conditions and system performance, selects appropriate signal timing (control) strategies, and performs equipment diagnostics and alert functions. Sensors in the street detect the passage of vehicles, vehicle speed, and the level of congestion. This information is received on a second-by-second (real-time) basis and is analyzed on a minute-by-minute basis at the ATSAC Operations Center, to determine if better traffic flow can be achieved by changing the signal timing. If required, the signal timing is either automatically changed by the ATSAC computers or manually changed by the operator using communication lines that connect the ATSAC Center with each traffic signal. To supplement the information from electronic detectors, closed-circuit television (CCTV) surveillance equipment has been and continues to be installed at critical locations throughout the City.

The Department has installed CCTV cameras at 270 locations and new sites are being added. The major benefit of the ATSAC System is the ability to effectively manage dynamic traffic flow. Evaluation studies of the ATSAC System show that travel times, traffic signal delay, vehicular stops, air emissions and fuel use are significantly reduced.

The ATCS will automatically adjust traffic signal timing in response to current traffic demands by allowing ATCS to simultaneously control all three critical components of traffic signal timing, namely cycle length, phase split and offset.

The full report can be found at the LA City DOT site at:


Monday, October 3, 2011

10,000 Non-violent Prisoners to be Released Starting January 2012

At the Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) meeting last Tuesday, LAPD announced that, beginning January 2012, 10,000 non-violent prisoners will be given $200 each and released unsupervised from LA County prisons. LAPD warned that citizens should be prepared for a significant increase in crimes.

C-PAB is attended by leaders of neighborhood and community councils and home owners associations and an urgent request was made by LAPD to distribute this information to the residents.

The release of the prisoners is the result of a controversial decision by the United States Supreme Court which requires that tens of thousands of California state prisoners will be released because of violations of cruel and unusual punishment.

The order is due to overcrowding, leading to what the court calls "constitutional violations." It is one of the largest prison release orders in U.S. history.


LA City Administrative Code Enforcement - ACE

Residents in the Palisades and elsewhere in the City have been frustrated by the non-enforcement of City Ordinances and laws, generally contained in the City Municipal Code: Barking dogs, noisy parties, construction without permits, illegal construction, dog bites, gas powered leaf blowers, and the list goes on. Non-enforcement affects public safety, creates visual blight, and creates public nuisances.

A violation of the Municipal Code is a criminal act and the City Attorney's office says that they are not prosecuting such "minor" infractions criminally with staffing shortages and the courts overloaded with much more severe cases, alas: no enforcement, lawless behavior and citizen frustration.

The City Departments are just as frustrated. The public safety aspects of increasingly brazen violators of the Municipal Code are of major concern especially within LAPD, Animal Services, Housing Authority, and Building and Safety, and in the City Attorney's Office itself.

Council member Paul Koretz with the support from City Attorney Carmen Trutanich has sponsored an enforcement program that addresses the many unenforced violations of the City's Municipal Code. It decriminalizes minor violations and allows the inspectors in the field to issue tickets similar to parking tickets. This Administrative Code Enforcement (ACE) system is designed to be self funding through the collection of fines and not a burden on the tax payers.

PPCC has taken a position of support for the ACE program with special emphasis on enforcement of Building and Safety code violations. We must support this ordinance to bring law and order back to our community, stop the brazen scofflaws, and bring respectability back to the City Inspectors and Officers who are charged with enforcement but find their efforts negated by the City Attorney's refusal to prosecute.

The link to the LA Times article below provides additional details.,0,4753148.story