Letter to the Editor

Glendale Boasts Worst Drivers

Statistically, Glendale has made nationwide rankings in the top 200 of the most dangerous cities in the United States, but not because of crime. For sequencing years, Glendale drivers have been ranked #196 in the list of worst drivers in the nation. With car accidents reported on the citizen app being a daily norm, the city should consider ways of lowering these statistics. 


As someone who has lived next to Brand Boulevard for most of my elementary school years to adult life, I have personally seen the developments in our city grow and wane through the years. I have also worked at one of the car dealerships on our Brand Boulevard strip so I am not opposed to the business that car dealerships bring to our city. However, it should not be taken lightly by the effects it has on this side of the community. 


Our local middle school, Roosevelt Middle School, is sandwiched by both the Dodge and the Ford dealerships. As someone who went to this school, there were definitely times that someone driving recklessly or someone testing a car has given me and my young peers a scare. However, it has become a local norm to almost expect this kind of behavior and act accordingly in this city. It has come to the point that outsiders who do come by here or Uber drivers I have spoken to agree that they notice a big difference in driver culture when in the Glendale area.


We shouldn’t stand by and let this be a legacy that our city is known by. The many great aspects of our city are tarnished by this negative fact. 

Perhaps the problem lies with the leniency of Glendale policing when it comes to speeding or reckless driving in Glendale. So many times I have seen drivers pulled over or questioned for less minor grievances, or profiled and questioned for normal activity. However, drivers who speed and cause havoc in their high profile cars are given more leniency and are hardly questioned as hard by our traffic police. This is perhaps ingrained in classist reasoning, but in the City of Glendale, I hoped to expect more. Just now as I write this letter, I hear multiple cars outside revving through the residential area.


Many of our neighboring cities have established bike paths and added bike signs throughout their city. This not only encourages free exercise and movement among our citizens of all age groups, but it also encourages fewer cars on our streets. Fewer cars directly equal fewer car accidents and inadvertently equal less traffic as well. With this in mind I would like the city to consider establishing not only better street signs especially in high traffic areas and intersections, but also bike paths and bike locking areas to encourage green initiatives in our city. 


Through some research, I understand that the city council has begun moving towards an initiative back in 2012 called the City’s Bicycle Transportation Plan which places bicycle and pedestrian paths along the Verdugo Wash. I question why these initiatives have stopped or why they have not continued in development. I hope that the city ultimately decides in their favor and considers to implement it along other parts of the city as well and not only through the North Glendale area.


I have been a proud citizen of The Jewel City since I was a young student at Horace Mann Elementary School, and I continue to be as an adult. I hope the City Council can bring light to these subjects with deciding actions. With the repercussions of the COVID-19 shutdowns still affecting our city, this is the best time to consider what kind of city we truly expect Glendale to be coming out of this calamity. 


Armin Erika Polanco

GCC Student