May 27, 2024 #1 Local News, Forum, Information and Event Source for Venice Beach, California.

Venice Kids Lives in Danger

Lacking a crossing guard, Parents at Broadway Elementary say the crosswalk at the busy intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and California Avenue puts their children’s lives at risk.

By Sam Catanzaro

Parents at Broadway Elementary want a crossing guard assigned to the busy intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and California Avenue during drop-off and pick-up hours. Lack of coordination between various City and State agencies, however, has made progress slow while drivers on Highway 1 continue to drive fast.

“It’s so dangerous,” said Fang Huang, whose son is a student at Broadway Elementary. “We live across the street from the school, I can see it from my balcony, and I won’t even let my son go out and cross the street by himself.”

Lincoln Boulevard creates a hazardous intersection at California Avenue. Parents at Broadway Elementary want a crossing guard. Photo by Sam Catanzaro.

The school attracts has higher-than-normal influx of daily commuters, partly due to its Mandarin Immersion Program, and with no parking lot on the premises, parents and students are reliant on crosswalks to get to school. Many have first-hand experience with cars turning through the crosswalks, with drivers traveling at high speeds. Last year one parent’s parked car was totaled in a hit and run accident while she was dropping off her two children in the morning. And in February, a student from the neighboring Amino High School was hit by a car traveling southbound on Lincoln Boulevard.

“I heard a loud bang upon impact and the boy was hit hard enough to have bounced several feet into the middle of the intersection,” said Susan Wang, Principal of Broadway Elementary. “His one shoe fell a few feet south of him. Luckily and surprisingly, he was able to get up and walked to the sidewalk.”

Despite these incidents, parents and school administrators have been unable to get a crossing guard assigned to this intersection.   

“A year ago we contacted CalTrans and LAUSD  [Los Angeles Unified School District] to express our concern to no effect,” said Mikette Miller, parent of a second-grader and Broadway Elementary School Safety Committee Member. “We have collected over 600 signatures in a petition to have our crossing safety improved.”

A father and his daughter cross Lincoln Boulevard after dismissal at Broadway Elementary School. Cars turning off Lincoln Boulevard make this a hazardous street to cross, and parents are requesting a crossing guard be assigned here. Photo by Sam Catanzaro.

The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) conducted two surveys of the intersection in 2017. They ruled that the intersection does not meet the criteria for the assignment of a crossing guard because it does not qualify as a pedestrian route. California code says that if there are 40 or more pedestrians and 300 or more cars turning during any two hours of a day, a crossing guard can be assigned. Data from the Department of Engineering shows that the traffic flow at Lincoln and California does, in fact, meet the criteria for a crossing guard to be assigned.

Yo! Venice reached out to both LADOT and CalTrans. Jessica Jovel, a Public Affairs Officer at CalTrans said that Caltrans does not provide crossing guards.

“In this case, the City of Los Angeles or school district would likely be charged with assigning crossing guards at intersections that meet approved guidelines for adult supervision of students going to and from school,” Jovel said.

A spokeswoman for LADOT said that the department is “not at liberty to disclose that information” relating to why the intersection does not meet the criteria for a crossing guard to be assigned.

Principal Wang recognizes the danger of this intersection and has herself requested a crossing guard, but has no authority over the decision. Wang, however, thinks that more than just a crossing guard is needed.

“A crossing guard would help to some degree, but the Lincoln and California intersection really needs turn-specific traffic signals in all four directions because the cars go by very fast and drivers don’t observe or stop for pedestrians who are already in the crosswalks,” Wang said. “Unfortunately, I don’t have any authority over what happens on Lincoln and California.”

There is, however, some progress being made. On March 6, Venice Neighborhood Council (VNC) Parking and Transportation Committee introduced a motion addressing the danger of this intersection. If approved by the Council at large, the VNC will send two letters: one to Caltrans and the other to LADOT, requesting a crossing guard be added at Lincoln and California. Mikette Miller of the School’s Safety Committee is in communication with various City agencies, and says that “it seems like it is building momentum.”

One of the underlying issues, however, is the different jurisdictions these agencies have. Lincoln Boulevard is part of Highway 1 and is therefore under the control of CalTrans, yet LADOT is the agency responsible for assigning crossing guards.  

“It is very fractured. I don’t have a background in public policy or activism, so I am navigating this and trying to reach out to all of these different agencies,” Miller said.

In the meantime, parents and kids must deal with the reality of crossing a dangerous intersection without a crossing guard during drop-off and pick up. A parent-run valet service on Broadway Ave allows parents to leave their car and drop their kids off while avoiding the Lincoln and California intersection. Some parents have even volunteered themselves to be crossing guards. But at the end of the day, the consensus is that the City needs to step in and improve the safety of the intersection.

“This doesn’t solve the underlying issues which are traffic flow and visibility. I think the best solution is an all-way stop at Lincoln and California for 30 minutes before and after school on school days,” Miller said.

Despite efforts by parents and school administrator, getting a crossing guard assigned to Broadway Elementary has been a slow and bumpy process. Photo by Sam Catanzaro.

 

Related Posts

New Program Can Help Protect Southern California Homes in the Event of an Earthquake

May 13, 2023

May 13, 2023

Residents Have Until May 31 To Apply For Seismic Retrofit Grants By Janiele Maffei, Chief Mitigation Officer for the California...

Venice Shorts: Tree Trimming Underway Thanks to the Vsa!

April 28, 2023

April 28, 2023

VSA Has Taken up the Task of Trimming Italian Stone Pine Trees. By Nick Antonicello Following the recent toppling of...

Venice Stakeholders Association’s Comments on Traci Park’s Broken Bridge Housing Promise

April 24, 2023

April 24, 2023

By Marc Ryavec I have been struggling with how to address the phenomenon that someone I and many others in...

Column: Tired OF Declinists? Some Enduring New California Positives

April 18, 2023

April 18, 2023

By Thomas D. Elias California has taken a beating lately, with (mostly Republican) governors of other states blasting many aspects...

Venice Shorts: The South Venice Blvd Encampment, Is It a Candidate for a City Cleanup?

April 14, 2023

April 14, 2023

One of the last of the large encampments closest to the beach, Venetians are hopeful help is on the way!...

Venice Shorts: Averill Defeats Tyminski 63%-37% to Become President of Venice Neighborhood Council

April 3, 2023

April 3, 2023

In second bid for top spot, surfer/photographer Brian Averill coasts to an easy win against Venice attorney and outgoing Vice-President...

Column: Install at LAX Tiny Homes From The State Grant

March 31, 2023

March 31, 2023

By Clark Brown On March 16  Governor Newsom announced in Sacramento, his first stop on his State of the State of...

Venice Shorts: Night & Day – Flower & Lincoln Transformed, Back in Business

March 28, 2023

March 28, 2023

By Nick Antonicello In what was a Venice eyesore just a few months ago has been transformed into a place...

Opinion: Please Vote for Daffodil Tyminski

March 25, 2023

March 25, 2023

This is Tom Williams, your neighbor at 1011 Main Street.  With the upcoming VNC election this Sunday, I wanted to reach...

Venice Shorts: Popular Local Jim Robb Seeks Vp Slot, Endorses Brian Averill for President of the VNC!

March 23, 2023

March 23, 2023

By Nick Antonicello  VENICE – In a twist of events longtime Community Officer Jim Robb will now be seeking the...

Venice Shorts: Tabor Family Legacy Amara Hordt Seeks Seat on VNC This Sunday!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

Local realtor looks to follow a family legacy of engaged community involvement here in Venice By Nick Antonicello VENICE –...

Venice Shorts: Erica Moore, A Cheerleader For Venice In Her Run For Community Officer!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

By Nick Antonicello VENICE – Local caterer Erica Moore is making a second run for the Venice Neighborhood Council, but...

Venice Shorts: Running Unopposed, Nico Ruderman’s Deep Dive Into Politics and Government Continues!

March 22, 2023

March 22, 2023

By Nick Antonicello VENICE – It has been an interesting two years of political action, involvement and advocacy for Nico...

Venice Shorts: “V” for Venice Volunteer

March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Media professional, local business owner and Dad, Eric Alan Donaldson is defined by his volunteerism and love of Venice. By...

Deborah Keaton, a Consensus Building Candidate for VNC Community Officer!

March 20, 2023

March 20, 2023

Creative director, global brander and private business owner seeks a general consensus on what’s best for Venice moving forward.  By...