Safer solution: Speed cushions abate traffic dangers

first_imgWEST WHITTIER – Crosswalks are brightly striped. Speed limit signs are posted. And gaggles of backpack-toting children are usually milling around. Even so, motorists regularly zoomed around the bend near Aeolian Elementary School, says parent Danielle Chacon. “I would see them coming fast around the corner and down the street. And then they’d look at you like it’s your fault,” said Chacon, 28, of Whittier. Now, however, ever since since the Los Angeles County Department of Public Works installed three sets of “speed cushions” in front of the school, the change in traffic has been like night and day, residents say. Neighbors started a petition three years ago to have the county install Doug McMasters, the district’s business services director, said officials back then began talking with the county about speed bumps on Aeolian. Those talks led to a couple of traffic studies. The studies “indicated a couple of things,” he said. “The combination of the volume of cars and their speeds was enough for \ to do something,” McMasters said. “But trustee Aquino was the one who pushed the issue and worked with them to get this done.” During last Christmas break, Aquino walked the neighborhood with another resident, gathering signatures from at least 66 percent of the residents who were in favor of speed cushions. “In and around our schools, children’s safety is our No. 1 priority,” McMasters said. “From the district’s perspective, we’re glad the county was able to do it.” Aquino said he was even more motivated to get the speed cushions installed after a 12-year-old boy was killed by a large truck as he was riding his bicycle home from school in a neighboring school district. “The first thing that came to my mind was that we needed to get this project done,” Aquino said. “My heart just went out to those parents. “But I’m really happy we got this done before a serious incident occurred \,” Aquino added. “I’m utterly pleased with what has happened.” speed-reducing devices on Aeolian Street. That street curves to the left and turns into Westman Avenue, which made a perfect shortcut between busy Norwalk and Washington boulevards. [email protected] (562) 698-0955, Ext. 3051 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The speed cushions, which are wider and more subtle than typical speed bumps, went in last week. “It’s about time,” local businessman Danny Gonzalez said Friday as he watched students being dismissed from classes and vehicles slowing to accommodate pickups. Before, people would easily go about twice as fast as the school-zone speed limit of 25 mph, Gonzalez added. The installation of the speed cushions was a big victory for Los Nietos School District trustee Nicholas Aquino, who had fought for more than a year to get them installed. “It is one of the most worthwhile projects I have been involved in,” he said. “Any time we can ensure the safety of children and seniors – I just don’t think there’s anything more important.” last_img read more