Pedestrian safety growing concern in Baldwin Park

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORERose Parade grand marshal Rita Moreno talks New Year’s Day outfit and ‘West Side Story’ remake160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! BALDWIN PARK – As Alonda Garcia walked her autistic son to Vineland Elementary School last week, the last thing she expected was to save his life.As the pair crossed the intersection at Vineland and Puente avenues, a car ran a red light and was heading toward 5-year-old Saul.Garcia said she had to push her son out of the way of the speeding car.“This is a little boy and he doesn’t understand,” Garcia told the Baldwin Park City Council at Wednesday’s meeting. “He doesn’t feel safe to come out of the house. He’s scared he’s going to get hit by a car.”The recent death of an elementary-school student hit by a car and a number of other near-misses as students walk to and from school has raised concerns among parents in Baldwin Park.Central Elementary student Yasmin Lopez, 9, was killed Nov. 27 while crossing the street at Maine Avenue and Hallwood Drive.“It’s always been a concern in our school community because of the volume of traffic in the area,” said Central Elementary School Principal Maria Tarango. “We are constantly trying to bring attention to safety precautions.”Tarango says she hears new stories of students almost getting hit by cars on a daily basis.“Come dismissal time and arrival time, it’s a congested area,” Tarango said. “There’s no protection. A crosswalk is not protection.”She said driver and pedestrian awareness is key to solving the problem, but that more enforcement and speed control features in school areas are also needed.Baldwin Park Unified School District Superintendent Mark Skvarna said enhanced police enforcement is on the way.“The problem is people don’t follow the rules,” he said. “We are coming down on it with both feet.”With the large number of cars dropping off and picking up students at schools, Skvarna said motorists speed and run red lights and stop signs every day.“It’s just like a ticking time bomb,” he said. “It’s chaos.”After the death of Lopez, Baldwin Park Mayor Manuel Lozano held a town hall meeting for parents to discuss safety issues involving students walking to and from school.About 50 parents showed for the meeting, he said.“We ourselves need to be cautious,” said Lozano, at Wednesday’s council meeting. “We think we’re safe on the sidewalk, but you never know.”He has been lobbying for an initiative to place a stop light at the intersection where Lopez was killed. The council will vote on whether to approve $150,000 for the light Jan. 4. [email protected](626) 962-8811, Ext. 2236last_img

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