Increased pedestrian traffic on this increasingly crowded campus have prompted the University and the city of La Verne to hire crossing guards to enforce more caution while crossing the street.
The crossing guards, who took their post earlier this month, are stationed at two intersections on D Street, at Third and Second streets.
La Verne Police Capt. Nick Paz, who is responsible for the traffic enforcement, said the guards have been placed there due to how congested the intersections are throughout the day.
“The decision came by having conversations with the merchants, the University and the city how to best handle the situation with the students, mainly with the international students who are not accustomed to the rules here,” said Paz.
Clive Houston-Brown, associate vice president for facilities and technology services, said it was the city’s decision to hire crossing guards, but the University is paying the guards’ salaries.
“The University is (funding) it because it is primarily our students,” Houston-Brown said.
“There has been a surge of recent car misses but no accidents or injuries have occurred to date,” Paz said.
Houston-Brown said students would walk right into intersections without letting drivers through. The problem was especially bad during periods between classes.
“Frustration between both students and motorists grew due to continuous crossing by students and neglecting to stop at all by the motorists,” Paz said.
Tiffany Kinslow, one of the crossing guards, said she just wants to help pedestrians cross safely.
“I’m not sure how long exactly this is set up for,” Kinslow said. “I just try to help pedestrians and cars to get a balance.”
Paz said that pedestrians are not the only ones at fault.
“The cars and motorists are not paying attention,” Houston-Brown said. “They are not looking out for the students. A lot of them are on their cell phone. And the best way to keep the students safe is … to get the crossing guards and have them out here for a while.”
“It’s not that we are trying to tell them how to cross the street,” Paz said. “It’s just to get them used to looking for cars. A lot of these kids are texting, not paying attention, not stopping.”
The crossing guards are most likely a temporary addition.
“We are going to monitor and see how the kids do, how they pick up on the rules of the road out here,” Paz said.
“And when we see the students are following the rules out here we will probably do away with the crossing guard. But right now it’s just about safety.”
Despite being announced as temporary, Houston-Brown believes that crossing guards should be around every fall semester and part of spring to help students get accustomed to crossing carefully.
“It’s more kind of an educational thing,” Houston-Brown said.
Monique Millan contributed to this story.
Michelle Nunez can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.