Thomas Starr King Middle School to Get Pedestrian Upgrade

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.

  • In the Valley, in Alarcon’s district, they recently pushed very hard (against LADOT resistance) to install speed bumps around every school.

    The LADOT is always very reticent to allow pedestrians to usethe street. They view them a an obstruction to “traffic” and they officially measure them to be causes of congestion and delays.

    $900,000 is a lot of money. I wonder how LaBonge and Garcetti will be able to convince the LADOT that removing autmobile access and reducing speeds is the right way to go with this project.

  • Radical Transportation Engineer

    That ped access there is atrocious. The sidewalk width may not even be ADA with the electric pole there. I will be anxious to see the improvements once completed. Please report back on that when they are done.

  • Ummm, it’s Thomas Starr King Middle School…Not Thomas King or Thomas Crown…I happen to be an alum.

    BTW, back in my day, the RTD had a long line of Line 1, 2 and 3 buses there waiting on the pictured curb each afternoon, all heading eastbound on Sunset towards Silver Lake and Echo Park. Back then the student pass was just $4. Woo-hoo!

  • Damien Newton

    Thanks Elson. I saw the school called “Thomas King” in some places (of just King School) when I was doing research and didn’t realize how important the “Starr” was.


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