Well, all it took was several accidents, two critically injured students, a death and a long history of incidents, but public outcry has finally been heard and the problem addressed. Tuesday afternoon the city of Azusa at long last decided to station a crossing guard at the crosswalk at Rockvale Ave and Baseline Rd, the site of a horrific accident last month in which a high school and a middle school students were critically injured when they were struck by a car while crossing the street on their way to school. Both of the students were in the crosswalk when they were hit.
The driver of the vehicle that hit them said she hadn’t seen them because of the blinding glare drivers encounter as they head east into the rising sun. I have traveled that route several times at approximately the same time that the accident occurred and I have to agree, the blinding sunlight is definitely a problem, but on Baseline speed is also a problem. People drive at forty mph even though they’re passing a school. The speed limit is 25 when driving near a school and children are present. I travel down Rockvale to Baseline 5 days a week and have witnessed several incidents including some drivers blatantly running red lights even though there are students waiting to cross. Because Rockvale ends at Baseline drivers don’t worry about cross traffic and blow right through. I’ve also seen students jump the light and begin crossing the street before the light turns green without looking in either direction first. It is a very dangerous crossing.
The residents living near the crosswalk and the faculty at both Azusa High School and Foothill Middle School located near the site are breathing a collective sigh of relief. They’ve seen the need for a crossing guard for more than a decade and are thankful that city official have finally seen fit to place one there. All I can say is “It’s about time!” or better yet, “What took you so long?” But then we all know, the wheels of bureaucracy turn slowly, apparently very slowly. Chalk this one up as a victory for the people of Azusa who can send their kids off to school each morning knowing their kids are a little bit safer.
Just a thought…