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Parents want safer crossing

Rally is planned for Saturday to bring some new safety measures to six-way intersection in city.

January 28, 2009|By Zain Shauk

BURBANK — Michael Patterson lives less than a block from Edison Elementary School but fears for his 8-year-old daughter’s safety every time he walks her across a nearby six-way intersection.

The crossing, where Chandler Boulevard North, Chandler Boulevard South and the Chandler Bikeway all intersect Keystone Street, often causes confusion for drivers at any of the six stop signs at the site, Patterson said.

“My older kids are about 12 now, and I still don’t let them walk to school by themselves, even on the weekends,” said Patterson, who is one of a group of parents pushing for a crossing guard to be added at the site.

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Parents and students plan to take up signs and banners to rally at the crossing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday in an effort to build support for new safety measures.

As many as three drivers were often passing through the 122-foot-wide intersection simultaneously during the school’s morning drop-off period Tuesday, with some making U-turns and others weaving to switch between Chandler North and Chandler South as they approached the traffic signal at Buena Vista Street.

The mix of roads, cars, pedestrians and bicyclists simultaneously passing through the space often confuses drivers and creates dangerous situations, said Donna Cunningham, Edison’s PTA president.

Some make only quick checks before entering the intersection, not realizing that a child, parent or rider may have begun crossing on the other side of the street, Cunningham said.

The PTA has petitioned the city to add a crossing guard at the intersection and recently made its case to the traffic commission that the area was unsafe, but the group was told the site did not meet the state’s standards for installing a crossing guard, Cunningham said.

Kenneth Jackson, the city’s traffic engineer, agreed that the intersection was complicated, but added that after observing the location on multiple occasions, he hadn’t seen as much of a safety concern as there are at other Burbank intersections with crossing guards.

“I’ve been out there several times looking at the thing, and I have not really seen a close call,” Jackson said.

The city is still taking parent concerns seriously and is examining the site, he said.

A possible solution may include taking away crosswalks along one side of Keystone, forcing pedestrians to cross on one side of the road and making it easier for drivers to see them, he said.

“That’s purely to concentrate all the crossings at one location so that people crossing the intersection don’t have to look at a number of different spots,” Jackson said. “By focusing everything on one side, that might help.”

But parents are continuing their campaign for changes at the intersection and will meet with Jackson on Feb. 12 to discuss the issue further.


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