School board recommends crossing guards reassignments

Glendale school officials made recommendations last week for placing crossing guards at several new schools.

Under the plan, Balboa, Fremont, Horace Mann and John Muir elementary schools, along with Roosevelt Middle School, would each have a crossing guard.

Nearly 120 parents, district staff, police and parking enforcement officers examined 46 intersections before and after school let out — a project that was coordinated by Kelly King, assistant superintendent for Glendale Unified.

They spent nearly 300 hours over five weeks tallying how many vehicles and pedestrians crossed through each intersection, then turned the data over to the city's traffic and engineering department.

The results helped an 18-member committee — made up of city employees, parent volunteers and district staff — assign crossing guards at campuses where they are needed most.

"This committee wasn't in existence for quite a while, so we recreated it, and the first task put in front of us was to do a reassessment of crossing-guard locations throughout the city-funded geographical area," King said.

Los Angeles County pays for several crossing guards stationed at four La Crescenta schools while the city of Glendale pays $260,000 each year for 30 crossing guards.

The reassessment effort was made, in part, because parents at Balboa Elementary expressed concerns that a growing student population led to increased traffic concerns.

The city currently pays for 29 crossing guards to be stationed at Glendale public schools. An additional one works at Vahan & Anoush Chamlian Armenian School.

The new plan would remove one crossing guard from Glenoaks Elementary, a campus that had two working there last year, but will continue to have one for 2014-15.

Four crossing guards would also be taken from the area near Hoover High, Toll Middle School and Keppel Elementary, where 3,850 students go to and from the location on an average school day.

The area had 14 crossing guards stationed there last year, and would have 10 stationed there for 2014-15 instead.

Elementary schools that would also have crossing guards next year include Cerritos, Columbus, Edison, Jefferson, Lincoln, Marshall, R.D. White, Valley View and Verdugo Woodlands. Wilson Middle School will also have a crossing guard. .

School officials also made a priority list should city officials allocate additional funding for crossing guards.

At the top of that list is Franklin Magnet School followed by Keppel, Balboa, Fremont and Dunsmore.

"That does not mean that the other areas are not important and may not benefit from additional supervision, it just means that these five rows above them are in priority order for all the reasons we talked about before," she said, adding the consideration of the number of cars going through each intersection and rate of speed vehicles travel at as they move through them.

The committee will continue to meet during the school year to develop another priority list for schools to develop independent traffic control plans.

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