CVTC president Robbyn Battles will offer insight into some of the issues affecting the community.
By Mary O’KEEFE
The State of the Community will be presented at the Crescenta Valley Town Council Feb. 20 meeting. There are some changes coming to CV thanks in part to the community’s reaching out to its town council.
Among the issues discussed will be the recently approved big rig parking ban for La Crescenta. The Los Angeles County board of supervisors approved the ban that would restrict commercial vehicles weighing in excess of five tons from parking along the streets and alleys of unincorporated L.A. County/La Crescenta and Montrose. The California Highway Patrol and CV Sheriff’s Station deputies have yet to start writing citations to the big rig owners. They are waiting for L.A. County Dept. of Public Works to post parking restriction signs, which should be up in a few weeks.
Another issue CVTC has been working on is securing a crossing guard at Rosemont Middle School. Robbyn Battles, CVTC president, Cynthia Livingston, Rosemont principal and two moms – Michele Doud and Kelly Ralston – began tackling the issue of pedestrian safety around the middle school about two years ago. They looked at every angle and, with the support of school staff, public works and L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich, the drop-off areas in the front and back of the school were reviewed. But there was still a problem with vehicle traffic on Rosemont Avenue. The area surrounding the school has few sidewalks, the streets are narrow and the students used to run, or sometimes saunter, across the crosswalk at Los Amigos Street and Rosemont Avenue. Public Works had installed a lighted crosswalk, but that was difficult for vehicles to see in the bright sunlight. Then L.A. County approved a crossing guard at the crosswalk – only temporarily – so officials could see if having a guard would make a difference.
According to the school’s staff, students, parents and the local residents, having a guard did make a difference – and for the better. CVTC has requested the crossing guard be a permanent addition to ease the traffic problem; however, the response has been that crossing guards at middle schools are not normal policy.
Rosemont Middle School is part of the Glendale Unified School District. The district is not responsible for funding crossing guards, however; that falls to L.A. County. Although the county funds elementary school crossing guards, it does not do so for middle schools. The town council has sent a request to the L.A. board of supervisors for a specific ordinance to be created that would address this issue.
“The ordinance would allow middle schools to have crossing guards,” Battles said. “That is to [come in front of the board] tentatively on March 4.”
The ordinance would not mandate all middle schools have a crossing guard but would allow middle schools to request one if they feel the need is there.
The crossing guard, according to Battles and Livingston, has made the traffic flow much easier in the area. The guard holds students on one side until there are several, then escorts them across instead of students crossing sporadically.
Battles has requested community members to show their support of having a crossing guard by writing letters to the LA. County board of supervisors. So far, several students and parents from Rosemont and Monte Vista and Mountain Avenue elementary schools have responded.
Many wrote about Rosemont specifically, but CVTC still needs generic letters that highlight how a crossing guard could help all county schools, Battles said.
“The tragic death that happened [on Tuesday] in Hollywood shows how important a crossing guard can be,” Battles said.
On Tuesday, a 9-year-old girl and her mother were walking in the crosswalk in the 1300 block of Bronson Avenue in Los Angeles near Joseph Le Conte Middle School. A big rig struck them.
“It happened at 7:50 a.m. at Bronson and Sunset [avenues],” said Richard French, spokesman for the L.A. Police Department. “A semi [truck] was going south and hit the [pedestrians] in the crosswalk.”
The mother and daughter were transported to the hospital; the mother did not survive the accident and the little girl is listed in stable condition with non-life threatening injuries, French said.
The big rig and crossing guard issues had been discussed at several CVTC meetings. The community shared opinions and the council acted accordingly. This is what Battles is hoping for at the Feb. 20 and future meetings. Her goal is to make the meetings a place where residents can feel free to voice their concerns about their community.
“On Feb. 20 we will have a panel discussion,” Battles added.
On the panel will be representatives from Los Angeles County Fire Dept., the Crescenta Valley Sheriff’s Dept., CV Water District and California Highway Patrol.
Each member of the panel will talk about the upcoming year, what their offices will be doing and what issues they will be facing.
“Then we will have a [question and answer] portion,” Battles said.
In future CVTC meetings, which take place the third Thursday of each month, the council will host local officials and organizations that shape the community. There will always be a Q and A portion for audience members.
In March, Congressman Adam Schiff and Richard Sheehan, GUSD superintendent of schools will be at the meeting. In April, officials will include L.A. County Supervisor Michael Antonovich and Assemblymember Mike Gatto.
Battles also plans on reaching out to officials in nearby cities and inviting them to a CVTC meeting.
The CVTC and members of the community are also part of the Land Use Committee. It will have its meeting tonight, Thursday, at 6:30 p.m. in the La Crescenta Library Community Room, 2809 Foothill Blvd. Several members of the community will be in attendance as will representatives from AT&T to discuss the proposed 70-foot cellphone tower at 5041 Cloud Ave.
The CVTC monthly meeting will be on Feb. 20; the CV Town Youth Council begins at 6 p.m., the CVTC meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the La Crescenta Library Community Room.
Battles encourages community members to send letters concerning the crossing guard at Rosemont Middle School before March 4. The letters must be addressed to the L.A. County Board of Supervisors, Kenneth Hahn, Hall of Administration, 500 W. Temple Street, Ste 383, L.A., CA 90012. They can be mailed or emailed to Robbyn Battles at firstname.lastname@example.org.