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New Safety Measures Near School Where Mother Was Killed

ATVN's Emily Thornburg reports from Le Conte Middle School months after a mother was killed by a truck while crossing the street.

(Emily Thornburg/ATVN)
(Emily Thornburg/ATVN)

Parents and Los Angeles school and city officials attended a "Walk to School" event Monday to discuss plans to improve pedestrian safety and traffic control procedures around schools.

The event came eight months after a 42-year-old mother was struck and killed by a truck while crossing the street with her daughter near Joseph Le Conte Middle School in Hollywood.

L.A. City Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, Le Conte Middle School Principal Rose Hindinger and officials from the Department of Transportation attended the event.

"I had been in office for a few months when this tragedy occurred," Councilman O'Farrell said. "It really highlighted the issue of schools in the hundreds waiting for crossing guards."

O'Farrell said the killing of Marleni Edith Barrera earlier this year sparked an investigation into traffic safety measures in the areas surrounding Los Angeles schools.

"It's going to be a while before we can afford to fund crossing guards everywhere, so why not come up with a volunteer program to add a new measure of safety that the schools currently don't have?" O'Farrell said. 

Plans discussed at the "Walk to School" event included new initiatives such as enhanced signs and flashing signals to warn motorists to slow down before entering pedestrian crossing zones.

Parents at the event were satisfied by the measures being taken to improve pedestrian safety and calm traffic in the area.

"I drive and drop [my sons] off, but they still have to cross the street so I'm always nervous and I stay there until they cross the street," Le Conte Middle School parent Sandy Cobar said. "Everyone's in a rush in this area... a lot of people when they're impatient they don't really pay attention to the stop signs, and our children's safety is really important."

Recently, an 11-year-old boy was killed in a hit-and-run incident while walking to an Upland elementary school.

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