GPW: Self-Tempered Anarchy since 2009
Your GPW Editor-on-Occasion is Petra Fried in the City.
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stories along The Way
Friday, August 2, 2013
Parks management foresight saves two young lives.
As teens all too often do, they were driving way too fast on hairpin turns at Mineral Wells and completely blew this ↑ corner and went off the road toward the picnic area, smashing into one of the posts. The car transferred all of the speed and energy it was carrying onto the first post - bending it, then it bounced off another post, flipping the car on its side and back onto the roadway.
Both boys walked away from the crash with minor injuries. The only remaining sign of the accident is a cockeyed post and a small scattering of sand to mop up some oil.
The scene of the accident doesn't look like much. A bend in the road road. Some posts, one post slightly out of step with the rest. These posts haven't been here long. Maybe 5 years, give or take. That's no time at all when talking about a park that has been a valuable place to recreate and relax for Angelenos for more than a century.
I clearly remember the discussion five years ago about installing the posts and gates around Mineral Wells and the Green Recycling facility. This was at the beginning of Villaraigosa's brutal "full-cost recovery" plan and the Department of Recreation and Parks was being aggressively stripped of funding by City Hall. Posts and gates like these are definitely pricy. They were an expensive project that could easily have been short-cutted or blown off completely given the financial situation.
It was actually the General Manager, Jon Mukri, who made the posts and gates happen. He came out to the site himself and walked the location, then made the decision to do the full project.
It's difficult to tell from my lame photography, but beyond the posts there is a pretty steep dropoff into the Mineral Wells picnic area. It's an area that is filled with parents and kids most weekends.
Any vehicle missing the hairpin curve and hitting that dropoff with speed would flip and roll, seriously destroying it. Anything in its path would likely be crushed.
These posts probably saved the lives of those two teenage boys along with the handful of parks users who were at the location yesterday afternoon. And anyone who criticized Mukri's decision to complete this project at the time should be grateful they were just plain-old wrong, and not dead-wrong.