News-Press Editorial: Test program crosses the road to safety

After several years of pressing the issue, La Crescenta civic leaders and parents of early adolescents were rewarded for their efforts this week when the county Board of Supervisors agreed to make permanent a pilot program that paid for a crossing guard near Rosemont Middle School. This means that the current guard brought in for the test program last May, Mario Bocanegro, gets to keep his job.

Rosemont lies in unincorporated Los Angeles County. It is the county that pays for traffic safety measures there rather than the city of Glendale, which picks up the costs for similar efforts near campuses within the city’s boundaries. Trying to gain approval for improvements not previously deemed necessary can be an agonizing exercise, but the locals, under the leadership of Robyn Battles of the Crescenta Valley Town Council, were relentless.

A recent letter-writing campaign to Supervisor Mike Antonovich helped tip the decision in their favor. They gave him a little extra ammunition so he could persuade his board colleagues to allow Rosemont and other middle schools in unincorporated areas to have crossing guards. They agreed that $800,000 would be set aside for that purpose.

Since the arrival of Bocanegro last spring, not only have the students felt safer and their parents been given greater peace of mind, there has been a noticeable calming of traffic on Rosemont near the intersection with Los Amigos. So this week’s action making those improvements permanent — and extending them to campuses in the county that do not already enjoy them — is clearly a win for everyone.

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