HOLLYWOOD -- The City of Los Angeles unveiled new initiatives during a Walk to School event on Monday morning that aim to calm traffic, improve pedestrian safety, and remind motorists to stay alert when driving around LeConte Middle School and Citizens of the World Charter School.
City officials announced a series of improvements, as well as a pilot program that incorporates parent volunteers to work at school crossings as part of a new Safe Passages Volunteer Program. The parents will go through a background check, safety training, and act as an extra set of eyes and ears at school crosswalks.
“Today is an important day and the culmination of months of hard work to improve safety in the most important corridors,” said Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell. “Thanks to the work from my staff and our community partners, including the City Attorney’s office, Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT), Youth Policy Institute, Sunset Bronson Studios/Hudson Pacific Properties, and school faculty and parents, we now have improved pedestrian safety measures in place that will benefit the entire neighborhood.”
Earlier today, LADOT crews finished the installation of two flashing signals for the pedestrian crossing at Fountain and Bronson Avenues. The department also placed two stop signs at Bronson and Fernwood Avenues.
"Safety is the number one priority at the Department of Transportation,” said Seleta J. Reynolds, General Manager for LADOT. “Increasing safety improvements around LeConte Middle School and Citizens of the World Charter Elementary School is a terrific investment in our young people and helps to encourage more walking and bicycling to school."
The Safe Passages Volunteer Pilot Program will be managed by the City Attorney, in partnership with the Youth Policy Institute, and serve as a model for other schools across the City.
“Our Neighborhood School Safety Program is an innovative approach that incorporates an array of resources to ensure neighborhoods are safe and healthy places for kids and their families,” said City Attorney Mike Feuer. “We are pleased that an important component of our program, safe passages to school, is being launched at Le Conte Middle School.”
"The Youth Policy Institute is glad to be partnering with Councilmember O'Farrell, City Attorney's Office, LADOT and the LAUSD school leaders to administer the Safe Passages program,” said Angelica Solis of the Youth Policy Institute, who will assist with the Safe Passages pilot program. “A students success in school is not only dependent on academics, but also on their personal well-being. This is why the community partnership formed to ensure children feel safe walking to and from school through the Safe Passages program is so important. We look forward to working with the parent volunteers to implement the program."
The new initiatives follow a fatal accident near the intersection of Fountain and Bronson earlier this year. A woman was killed and her 10-year-old daughter was injured after they were hit by a semi truck while in the crosswalk.