By Mary O’KEEFE
Los Angeles County Public Works has ordered the supplies and slated a June start date for construction on a flashing light crosswalk on Foothill Boulevard at Glenwood Avenue in La Crescenta.
The crosswalk will be similar to the one on Foothill Boulevard at Cloud Avenue, near OSH (Orchard Supply Hardware).
The construction may be completed by the end of the current school year but will definitely be completed in time for the following school year.
“I never thought I would get this excited over a crosswalk, but I am,” said Robbyn Battles, Crescenta Valley Town Council member.
Battles has been raging a campaign for safe walkways for pedestrians ever since she was elected to the CVTC.
Community members can often see her, along with California Highway Patrol officers and public works representatives, standing on a busy and potentially dangerous corner. She has been able to work closely with the two agencies to get a new sidewalk near Monte Vista Elementary School, bushes cut and removed in the area to improve visibility and crosswalks constructed.
Foothill Boulevard at Glenwood Avenue has been of special interest because of the amount of traffic and the speed of the traffic along the roadway. At a recent visit to the area, Battles watched as a woman attempted to cross the street.
“She was screaming at the traffic as it [zoomed by],” she said.
On another occasion, while representatives were at the location they witnessed how difficult it was for students to cross as they walked home from school.
Natalia Acosta, a CVHS student, attempted to cross Foothill Boulevard with her friend, then had to pull back as cars drove quickly past them.
“I am afraid sometimes,” she said at the time. “I try to wait for a big break in the traffic but I have to get home … Sometimes the cars come all the way into the crosswalk. It’s like they don’t see me.”
Anish Saraiya, public works senior civil engineer, has worked closely with Battles on several projects. He has continued to look at other areas that have been brought to his attention with safety concerns.
They are also looking at some improvements on Rosemont Avenue near Rosemont Middle School.
Battles is working with other agencies to apply for a grant through Safe Routes to Schools.
For right now she is just excited that the lighted, flashing crosswalk has been approved and is moving forward.