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Anger over traffic grows as Coldwater Canyon Ave. blocked for 5th day

September 11, 2009 |  8:10 am

Residents in parts of Studio City are growing increasingly frustrated as a portion of Coldwater Canyon Avenue remains closed for a fifth straight day as workers repair damage from a water main break.

Officials said the road is not expected to reopen until at least Saturday -- and perhaps later. A portion of the avenue, a main route between the Westside and San Fernando Valley, was closed near Ventura Boulevard when an aging main broke, flooding the roadway. Some businesses and homes experiences water damage.

But then there is the traffic. 

On Goodland Place, Ruth Lenorovitz, 83, said commuters cutting through her neighborhood have made traffic conditions “unbearable.” 

“It’s a shame we’re going through this,” Lenorovitz said. “It’s a nightmare.”

Over the last two days, two streets have been favored by commuters refusing to take alternate routes, cutting through, and gaining access north from where Department of Water and Power crews have closed off traffic as they make repairs. 

“I blame officials,” Lenorovitz said, adding that officials have covered the sign that prevents vehicles from making that crucial left turn on Coldwater Canyon Avenue.

 “I wish I had the courage to [uncover] the sign,” she adds.

 A few homes away, Michelle Mendelsohn, 64, described the traffic as “bumper to bumper.” 

“We’re stuck with it,” Mendelsohn said.

Mendelsohn, who’s lived in her neighborhood for about 40 years, said she has empathy for drivers; still, she points out that they have alternate routes. Among them is Laurel Canyon, Beverly Glen and Sepulveda boulevards.

 “They just have to leave earlier,” she said.

Frustrated over the amount of traffic flowing from Ventura Boulevard, Mendelsohn said she doesn’t know whom to blame.

“It’s a big can of worms,” she said. On the west side of Coldwater Canyon Avenue, residents there have been dealing with drivers making the same detour on Van Noord Avenue, a narrow street, and turning around after coming into a wooden fence and sidewalk that blocks access to the canyon road.

 At least two handmade signs have been placed at Dickens Street and Valley Vista Boulevard. They both read: No Coldwater Access. 

“It’s annoying,” Edna Lee said. Outside of her home, at the mouth of Van Noord, a neighbor placed a cardboard sign that says “Dead End.” Despite attempts to warn drivers, Lee said, “some people just don’t get it.”

--Ruben Vives