This Google "Street View" Shows Some Challenges in Walking to Thomas Starr King Middle School
Every year the state rolls out its "Safe Routes to School" award winners to the schools that have the best plans to make walking to their school a safe and attractive option. Last week Councilmembers Tom Labonge and Eric Garcetti celebrated a $900,000 CALTRANS' grant for Thomas Starr King Middle School at 4201 Fountain Avenue. As you can see from the above image, the pedestrian facilities along the Fountain Street entrance leave a lot to be desired.
The grant will cover both engineering efforts, such as the cost of wider sidewalks around the school, speed feedback signs to encourage drivers to slow down and lighting upgrades in a nearby underpass; but also an education program aimed to teach students the safest way to walk to school.
A statement from Garcetti's office tied together how safe streets also lead to a better educational experience:
The $900,000 Caltrans grant that we are receiving will help us make much needed improvements to our streets and sidewalks that will help us ensure that students at King Middle School can get to school safely. I strongly believe that student safety is directly related to student achievement. We want our kids to be more focused on learning, and less worried about whether they're going to be okay getting to and from school.
The Thomas Starr King Middle School plan is one of 25 Safe Streets to Schools grants funded this year by CALTRANS in LA County. Check back with Streetsblog for information on other projects.