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School officials upset over crosswalks

June 10, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Dangerous school crossings have parents and school officials concerned after three students were struck within a two-week period.Fast-moving traffic and young students getting out of school is a dangerous combination.

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"The question is how many more bodies do we have to have lying out in the street? How many more? What is the price we have to pay to get what we need for our kids?" said teacher Louis DePace.

Thomas Starr King Middle School is surrounded by busy streets. Officials say that in Monday's accident a young girl was jaywalking.

"The first time was April 15 and they have come very close together. We had the crisis team out here working with students and teachers. In fact today teachers are discussing in their classes the importance of traffic safety with the students," said Thomas Starr King Middle School Principal Kristen Kaiser.

People in the area say that motorists drive too fast around the school. They also say that the traffic lights at the intersections of Fountain Avenue and Myra Avenue do not last long enough to allow someone to cross the street.

"Well it is kind of crazy and people do go kind of fast sometimes. I worry having to cross the street sometimes," said student Noel Gonzalez.

"There are no speed bumps here. People as you can see fly by here at all different speeds if they do not stop at the stop light," said DePace.

There will be changes. City Councilmen Eric Garcetti and Tom LaBonge fought to get a state grant called Safe Passages to School. The money was awarded just a month ago.

"There is close to a million dollars to widen sidewalks, improve lighting and to have bump-outs to make that time in the street even less," said Garcetti.

Teachers are there every day to monitor students and to watch out for traffic. They say that drivers also need to be more careful.

"Sometimes people forget the rules and they do jaywalk. Slow down and watch for kids anytime you are near a school," said LaBonge.

The child from the accident on Monday was released from the hospital and is doing fine.

School officials say that there is at least one accident a month in front of the school.

 

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