Live Oak neighborhood could use some TLC, reader says

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I recently moved into Live Oak area and I like it very much -- the families, rich and poor, and the diversity of people. However, I am struck by a few issues that I hope you can help with:
  1. The stop signs on Felt and Paget streets are very difficult to see on approach. They are both buried in beautiful trees; however, hard to see. Is there a way to gently cut them back to see the signs but not butcher the trees?
  2. I am dismayed by the amount of old couches and garbage that is left out and not picked by county waste. This is along Felt from 17th Avenue until the very end of Felt -- on side streets, too. Can't the county help with this issue? Free stuff is left out and then becomes junk no one wants.
  3. In Soquel and Santa Cruz, streets are cleaned periodically by a machine. Can the streets in Live Oak be cleaned too? Like 24th Avenue, etc.? Also, of kids and families live here and we need extra support in busy rental properties.
  4. The corner of 24th Avenue and Portola Drive is one of the busiest in the county -- with the library, large rental complexes of families, a busy intersection with cars going fast into 41st Avenue corridor, and, of course, the duck crossing by the library. However, I am shocked by the lack the signage on this corner to warn cars going very fast of the pedestrians, dogs, and ducks. The painted crosswalks are barely viewable since they are old and there is very little signage slowing anyone down. Would this be the case on the Westside or in Capitola neighborhoods where there are more affluent families?
Anyway, hope you can help. Karen H. Scott, Santa Cruz A: County public works is working on your fix-it list, said Melissa Henderson, executive secretary. Service requests have been issued to trim the trees around stop signs, to pick up the discarded items left on the roadside and to get a street sweeper out there to sweep up road debris. As for your request for more pedestrian, dog and duck signs, "all appropriate signage is in place for pedestrian and duck crossings on Portola Drive at 24th Avenue," she said. However, a service request has been submitted to evaluate the existing crosswalk striping for repainting. To report road maintenance needs and issues such as the above, Henderson advises the public to call the road dispatch office at 477-3999. Q: Please, remind your readers that as our mornings stay darker later, many walkers, joggers and bicyclists are out there. While switching car headlights to bright may help drivers to see better, it can blind others. While jogging across a street this morning, I was blinded by bright car lights just as I approached the curb. Unable to see clearly, I tripped and fell. Fortunately, there were no broken bones -- this time. Jim & Margaret Nelson, via email A: Thank you for the reminder. Drivers, take heed.
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