Residents rally for speed bumps around school

LA CRESCENTA — Public opinion Thursday was overwhelmingly in favor of speed bumps on Orange Avenue in front of Monte Vista Elementary School as a way to slow down what residents and officials agree is dangerous traffic.

Several residents who live near the school spoke in favor of installing speed bumps at Thursday’s Crescenta Valley Town Council meeting, which included a chance for public input on the plan that is currently the subject of a traffic study by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works.

“The speed bumps would be wonderful,” said Orange Avenue resident Pat McLeod. “I’ve lived here for 36 years. It’s no longer safe. It is a minor thoroughfare.”

Residents said they put up with speeding day and night, and that the situation is especially dangerous during drop-off and pick-up times during the school year. People often drive erratically, speeding and making illegal U-turns, they said.

“School is starting, and I’m going to start holding my breath again,” said resident Michelle Profeta, adding that she struggles to safely back out of her driveway in the morning.

School officials are also in favor of the speed bumps as a way to improve pedestrian safety for the school’s students.

“It’s wonderful to see the community come together for the benefit of the kids,” said Monte Vista Principal Susan Hoge.

Town Council members were mixed in support of the speed bumps at an executive meeting earlier this month, but Thursday they said public opinion would be important in determining their stance on the issue.

“Once the traffic study comes back, we’re going to have to be pushing the issue one way or another,” said Town Councilman Steve Goldsworthy, who has worked to address the issue with his colleague Robbyn Battles.

Greg Krikorian, vice president of the Glendale Unified School District Board of Education, said the issue at Monte Vista was a broader issue faced by schools across the district that officials are working to address.

“Every school site is a tragedy waiting to happen,” he said.

Goldsworthy and Battles also briefed the community on other traffic safety efforts that will be in effect for the new school year starting Aug. 31.

Brush obscuring the view of the crosswalk at Orange and La Crescenta avenues has been cleared, “No U-Turn” signs have been posted, and a second drop-off spot has been approved for Two Strike Park, from which students can walk to school, Battles said.

The California Highway Patrol has also agreed to an increased presence in the first few weeks of school to send a message to speeders.

“We’re going to be writing tickets like crazy,” said Officer Andre Primeaux.

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