LOS ANGELES (CNS) -- The Los Angeles City Council approved a motion calling for the Department of Transportation to prepare a plan for installing speed humps at all public schools in the city in an effort to address rising concerns of public safety following recent incidents where students were struck by drivers.
The motion, presented by Council President Paul Krekorian, said the program would be similar to the current pilot speed hump program in his Second District. Speed humps are being installed at public elementary schools in his district including North Hollywood and surrounding areas over the summer.
Krekorian's motion noted that speed humps will be placed at every public elementary school in the district by the start of 2023-24 school year.
"Speed humps are raised sections of asphalt, designed to slow traffic and heighten driver awareness, which are being placed adjacent to schools at locations chosen in consultation with each school's principal," reads a statement from Krekorian's office.
Under the city's existing program, speed humps are only installed on an annual cycle. Groups and individuals are invited to apply, but the cycles closes when at total of 375 applications are received, and the application threshold is typically met within minutes.
Earlier this year, Krekorian allocated district-specific funds to implement a dedicated elementary school speed hump program in the Second District. He also requested funding in this year's budget to extend the program to all city districts.
The council's action to bolster public safety around schools is in response to a crash near Hancock Park Elementary School, in which a woman was struck and killed by a vehicle and her 6-year-old daughter was critically injured as they walked to school.
Just a day after that crash, Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho informed the City Council's Transportation Committee that a 14-year-old student at Berendo Middle School near downtown Los Angeles was struck by a vehicle.
LAUSD officials and community members urged City Council members to take action to prevent further tragedies around schools across the city.
Recently, the City Council approved a report calling for ways to expedite the hiring of more crossing guards as part of the solution to address those safety concerns. The council also instructed its transportation department to consider the use of flashing lights and cameras to enhance pedestrian safety around schools, increase law enforcement, examine best practices of other locations and other jurisdictions and to install speed hums around schools.
Damian Kevitt of Streets Are For Everyone, a nonprofit seeking to improve safety on the road, told City News Service the Hancock Park Elementary collision was horrific and such tragedies happen every single day in Los Angeles.
The measures the city seeks to implement such as speed humps and adding more crossing guards, he said, are an important step. But he added that there's not one solution that will resolve speeding or other hazards that lead to injuries or deaths of people on the road.
According to Kevitt's estimates, an average speed hump is roughly $20,000, and to cover the schools in LAUSD, the city might be looking at a cost of $70 million.
He emphasized the need to address speeding not just for schools but across the city of Los Angeles to ensure the safety of all Angelenos.
Under the Krekorian's motion, co-presented by City Council members Heather Hutt and Eunisses Hernandez, it also calls for the Department of Transportation to identify funding, staffing resources and a timeline to implement the speed hump program for all schools.