Thursday, August 9, 2018 

6:30pm-8:00pm Leigh and Bascom Avenues

It’s our annual free ice cream night at the playground. Bring your family, grab the neighbors and come chat about what’s going on in the neighborhood. This is a great, relaxed evening of just getting to know each other. Without agendas we can talk about what’s going on in the neighborhood, meet new people and see how big our kids have grown. For more information or to volunteer, contact Theo Martinez at or 408.202.4688.

Persistence Pays Off For Pedestrians and Bicyclists

Thanks to SONA resident Megan Blaine, we are scheduled this budget cycle to receive an enhanced pedestrian crosswalk on Fruitdale Avenue between Leigh Ave and Southwest Exp. This will allow people to get to and from work, home and transit safely.

While this project had been authorized more than 12 years ago, it was placed on low priority. When she revived it, the Department of Transportation (DOT) guidelines that determine the need for a crosswalk be determined by a pedestrian count at one intersection. Those of us who travel this route know that we cross when conditions allow. When the DOT told her we didn’t qualify for a crosswalk based on their initial pedestrian count, we asked for amended guidelines to survey the length of Fruitdale between Leigh and Southwest. Persistence paid off, and with the support of our D6 Council member Dev Davis and her office, the pedestrian count was re-done for the entire length of Fruitdale. With the new guidelines, this section not only qualified for a crosswalk, it qualifies for and enhanced crossing including lights and warning signs to ensure pedestrian safety.

In the meantime, SONA resident Michele Tracy has been working on slowing down the traffic around the Leigh and Fruitdale intersection to make it safer for the high volume of pedestrians using this area. This led to the discussion of re-striping Fruitdale for bike lanes as it comes up for pavement and paint in the next budget cycle.

Fruitdale Avenue has been on the master list to add bicycle lanes for more than a decade and we are finally getting them. These lanes will connect the east/west and north/south bike routes along our major feeder streets. This requires additional engineering and traffic analysis which is scheduled to take place in the Fall of 2018.

Because both projects require engineering analyses (how to adjust lanes and how to add a safe crosswalk when there is no park strip for the signs), the engineering for both projects will most likely be bundled together according to our Council office. This allows for a more comprehensive design so the crosswalk may be installed in the current budget cycle and the re-striping and pavement project can complement the crossing.

Thanks to both Megan and Tracy for staying on top of these issues.

SONA Saturday August 18, 2018 9-11am

We periodically meet as a group and walk a stretch of the neighborhood to talk about what we can do to improve it or what great ideas we see that can be used elsewhere. Our next excursion will be the length of Fruitdale Avenue to discuss what pavement re-striping could look like, how to slow down traffic, how to get in and out of our neighborhood streets and more.

Meet us a 9am at the small office at the Sherman Oaks site. As you face the buildings from the Leigh Ave parking lot, it’s right next to the flag pole on the far left side. We will meet there and take an entire loop from one end of Fruitdale to the other. We will have water on hand. All ages welcome.

These are your streets. How can we improve them? How can we make them better?  For more information contact Theo Martinez at or 408. 202. 4688.

County Supervisor Candidate Forum September 13, 2018

SONA will be sponsoring a candidate forum for the D2 Supervisor seat with Susan Ellenberg and Don Rocha on the evening of September 13. Details will follow, so save that date.

We are teaming up with other neighborhoods that abut Valley Medical Center, including the Downing, Thornton areas, Burbank, Buena Vista, Pamlar and the Burbank/Del Monte NAC to discuss issues that specifically affect our neighborhoods. The candidate forums are often the same questions asked over and over. Our neighborhoods are adjacent to the largest employment site for the county that contains most of the social services offered by the county. Proximity to this site, along with the many pockets of unincorporated areas, make our neighborhoods unique.

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