Pedestrian Safety a Concern at Local Crosswalk

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE
School children hesitantly enter the crosswalk at Briggs Avenue and Los Amigos, aware that drivers do not always stop at the stop sign for them to safely make their way across the street.


Parents, school administrators, students and Crescenta Valley Town Council members are all worried about the traffic on Briggs Avenue at Los Amigos Street.

CVW was at the crosswalk on Tuesday morning with parents, including Hermineh Moradi, Rosemont Middle School Asst. Principal Narineh Hakopian, CVTC President Harry Leon and Councilmember Desiree Rabinov, the streets and transportation lead for the CVTC.

Moradi had first brought the safety concern to the attention of Leon and the County of Los Angeles Dept. of Public Works.

“I have been [talking] to Public Works since January,” Moradi said.

There is a group of fifth and sixth grade children that walk to Mountain Avenue Elementary together. Moradi’s child is part of that group and she worries for their safety and the safety of others who have to navigate the traffic along Briggs Avenue to get to school. Many times the drivers do not stop at the crosswalk that leads to Rosemont Middle School and Monte Vista Elementary.

On Tuesday morning Public Works was on-site, observing the crosswalk, but did not get out of their car to speak with the group that had gathered at the location to also observe the traffic.

Moradi said she has seen many close calls over the years and knew of one child who had been struck by a car four years ago at the crosswalk.

“Luckily [the child] just had minor scratches and no serious issues,” she said.

Pedestrian safety is a personal issue for Moradi.

“My grandmother was hit and killed at a school crosswalk,” she said.

Anyone who spends just a few minutes at the crosswalk in the early morning and afternoon hours when school starts and ends will see the danger it presents. Several cars, pick-ups towing trailers and even large constructions trucks were seen going down Briggs Avenue, several traveling very fast. The group at the crosswalk on Tuesday morning witnessed two pedestrians on two separate occasions narrowly being missed by passing cars.

A parent stopped by to share his concern with Leon.

“There are times in the afternoon when you can’t even see the kids in the crosswalk because of the shade from [a] tree,” he said. “I know the crosswalk is there and [yet] I find it hard to see the kids.”

There are large oak tree branches that act as an umbrella over the far east side of the crosswalk. It creates a dark shadow that makes it is difficult to see anyone standing near the curb.

Several parents and residents came to the crosswalk to share their stories of witnessing close calls between pedestrians and vehicles.

“I saw a neighbor who is in a wheelchair try to cross here who had to stop half way across the crosswalk to wait for cars to stop,” said another parent.

There were several first-hand stories of almost getting struck by vehicles that slammed on their brakes just a few feet from the crosswalk.

The traffic from 7:45 a.m. to about 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday – a typical school day – was non-stop and comprised all types of vehicles. On Tuesday the group witnessed drivers passing on the right side of those cars that had stopped at the crosswalk waiting to turn left, drivers slamming on their brakes just before the crosswalk, several ignoring it completely and many not really stopping but slowing down and rolling toward the crosswalk as a pedestrian was crossing.

It is a concern not only for parents but also for the kids who use the crosswalk on their way to school. Two Rosemont Middle School students said they have waited for several minutes for cars to stop, and are unsure whether they should cross because when a vehicle stops heading south on Briggs it does not mean the northbound traffic will stop.

Leon and Rabinov took note of all the concerns. Rabinov added that pedestrians get a false sense of security when half the traffic stops at the crosswalk, and they begin to walk across to find the other half of traffic continues without stopping.

“I think we at the least need a lighted crosswalk, and we need to get the tree branches trimmed to [improve] visibility,” Leon said.

“The main thing with the crosswalk light is that it is not consistently working. We need a button or something that turns it on when [pedestrians] are in the crosswalk,” Moradi added.

The need to alert drivers is not just during mornings and afternoons on school days but at night as well when walkers are also at risk.

“We need some light that blinks at night,” Moradi said.

Both Leon and Rabinov said they would follow up with Public Works and Supervisor Kathryn Barger’s office if necessary. Later Tuesday morning, Leon contacted Southern California Edison about trimming trees that lie on power lines and shade a large part of the streets. He also contacted Public Works to find out what can be done quickly to take care of the traffic issues.

California Highway Patrol is also taking a proactive role at the crosswalk. Patrol units that have been in the area during the first weeks of school are including Briggs Avenue in their extra patrol area.

A Public Works spokesman is following up on the study that was conducted on Tuesday by the department and will share what was discovered after the study is complete.

To see a video of the crosswalk traffic, click on the QR code or visit