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Eyes on the Street: Anti-Street-Racing Treatment at Polk and Glenoaks in Sylmar

4:06 PM PDT on March 29, 2023

New centerline hardening installation at Polk and Glenoaks. Photos by Joe Linton/Streetsblog

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Last week Streetsblog spotted a new "hardened centerline" treatment at the intersection of Polk Street and Glenoaks Boulevard in the L.A. City neighborhood of Sylmar. At the midpoint of all four sides of the intersection, the city Transportation Department (LADOT) installed two plastic bollards mounted atop plastic speedbumps.

Anti-street racing centerline hardening at Polk and Glenoaks in Sylmar
Anti-street racing centerline hardening at Polk and Glenoaks in Sylmar
Anti-street racing centerline hardening at Polk and Glenoaks in Sylmar

According to the Sylmar Neighborhood Council, L.A. City Councilmember shepherded this pilot treatment as a response to the rampant illegal street racing. The initial ones at Polk and Glenoaks were installed in late 2022, and two additional locations in Council District 7 were to follow.

In an email to Streetsblog, LADOT spokesperson Colin Sweeney explained:

Traditionally they [hardened centerlines] have been used to encourage vehicles to make wider turns and not attempt to cut into the crosswalk too early on lefts. In this instance, it is an example of treatments we're exploring to prevent street racing/intersection takeovers in response to the councilmember's motion. These remain a subject of study for their efficacy as we explore various solutions.

The installations are somewhat similar to downtown L.A. left turn wedges including in front of City Hall.

Readers - have you spent time in Sylmar to see how these are working? Any other treatments that have been effective at curbing street racing?

LADOT centerline hardening
LADOT centerline hardening in Sylmar. It's not clear if the visible racing donut tire tracks preceded the bollard/speedbump installation.
LADOT centerline hardening
Polk at Glenoaks
Polk at Glenoaks
Polk at Glenoaks

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