The Los Angeles Transportation Department launched a study Thursday to determine whether two traffic signals should be installed near Nobel Junior High School in Northridge, where two students have been injured by cars in the past two months.
The action came after a seventh-grade student was hit by a car the same day, suffering severe scrapes on his right leg and arm, while riding his bicycle across Tampa Avenue in front of the school, said Shirley Jerald, assistant principal.
City Transportation Engineer Ken Dietz said a "full-fledged" investigation will begin immediately on the prospects of putting traffic signals where Tampa crosses Merridy Street and a block north at Mayall Street. Both intersections, neither of which now has a crosswalk or stop sign, are heavily used by the 1,800 students at Nobel as they arrive and leave school, situated at 9950 Tampa, Jerald said.
Dietz said the study will take about three months and will focus on the volume of traffic that crosses both streets and the number of students who need to cross Tampa daily.
Request Turned Down
A similar request by students' parents two years ago was turned down, but since then traffic has dramatically increased as more motorists use Tampa to get to and from the Simi Valley Freeway, said Joan Danko, field deputy for Councilman Hal Bernson, who represents the area.
"I'm glad they have finally responded to our demands," said Bobbie Douglis, president of the PTA at Nobel. "It's like an absolute speedway out there, and it's downright dangerous for the kids."
Parents had been complaining about the absence of traffic signals near the school for about a year, but their frustration peaked March 20 when a student at a nearby elementary school was hospitalized with severe head injuries after being knocked off his bicycle while crossing Tampa near Mayall, Danko said.
More than 400 parents signed a petition calling for traffic signals, crosswalks, a four-way stop at a nearby intersection and the elimination of signs prohibiting stops on Lassen Street in front of the school, where parents drop off or pick up their children.
Dietz said all of the parents' requests will be considered. If traffic signals are determined to be necessary, they could be in place by the start of the next school year, he said.