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I’m a prisoner on Independence Day

Posted: July 8, 2009 7:55 p.m.
Updated: July 9, 2009 4:30 a.m.
Stress caused by Santa Clarita’s annual Independence Day parade inspired me to speak out in hopes other local residents will at the very least become more aware of a small group of downtown Newhall residents who become practically imprisoned each year on July 4.

I am a member of that group.

Each year the city of Santa Clarita closes several main roads in downtown Newhall — Newhall Avenue, Main Street and Lyons Avenue — for the parade.

These major roadways intersect in a sort of triangle formation, surrounding several residential streets.

Main Street and Lyons Avenue serve as the main parade route through downtown Newhall, while Newhall Avenue, as well as adjacent residential streets, serve as a staging area for the parade participants.

I am a longtime resident of this neighborhood.

It’s a wonderful area to live — quiet, full of old-school charm, and a home to great friends and neighbors who share this common annoyance each year.

As the traffic cones go up and the herds of people arrive, we find ourselves with no escape from our neighborhood unless we dare drive across the parade route and risk a citation from the Sheriff’s Department.

Several families in my apartment complex have multiple cars.

Our building only has room for one parking space per apartment, so other vehicles must be parked curbside.

But with our street closed we are forced to cram as many cars into our common driveway as possible, creating zero access to emergency vehicles in case of a fire or medical emergency.

This is not to say I dislike the parade.

It’s a fun event, great for family togetherness and bonding of friends and neighbors.

But I would like to see a little more compassion for the residents who are unable to even leave their driveways unless on foot.

I have had to park my vehicle outside the parade route so I could walk to my car in order to make it to work.

Adding insult to injury are the spectators who selfishly toss trash on our lawns and trample our landscaping but do not bother to clean up after themselves.

I don’t expect this letter to convince the city to accommodate us, or to convince parade officials to pick the trash up from my lawn.

But I do hope it makes fellow SCV residents aware of the stranglehold this celebration puts on the good people who call the heart of downtown Newhall their home.


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