Crossing Guards Added to 19th and Holloway
SF State adds crossing guards on dangerous intersection
March 6, 2007 7:30 AM
Since Thursday, students crossing the nearly unavoidable intersection of 19th Ave. and Holloway may have noticed the addition of two crossing guards in bright yellow vests, holding stop signs and conducting the flow of traffic on the busy highway.
Only the traffic lights and the crosswalks have previously maintained the delicate balance between pedestrians and drivers, but the combination of the outpouring of students from the MUNI, the fast multi-laned highway traffic and the 4-way intersection, is a dangerous combination that has had fatal consequences in the past. The crossing guards are part of an attempt to increase safety.
One of the guards is Herbert Cotaya, who works as a crossing guard for All City Management Services (ACMS). Cotaya and co-worker Angel Velasquez will be familiar faces, as from now on they will be directing traffic Monday through Friday from 8:45 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Cotaya said they encountered a few difficulties their first few days at the 19th Ave. location, as some drivers did not seem to respect the guards or the signals, and wanted to run red lights. One driver even hurled angry words out the window at him. Cotaya speaks mostly Spanish, so he was unsure of the exact words, but he brushed them off.
As people become accustomed to them, Cotoya said he believes there will be more respect, adding that the overall response he has gotten from students and pedestrians has been positive, “Many people have stopped to say thank you, good job, glad you are here,” he said.
ACMS is a client of the SFPD, according to Miguel Tellez, the Assistant Operations Manager of the private company. ACMS which contracts crossing guards to school districts andor police departments that request their services to help improve safety at places like 19th and Holloway, where accidents have occurred and students have been struck and killed in the past.
“That’s a dangerous intersection, the traffic is pretty heavy, and it’s a danger to pedestrians. With the crossing guards it should be somewhat safer, because a lot of the cars don’t stop when pedestrians try and cross the road. Its not 100 percent but they are another presence besides the lights, and that’s what were shooting for, safety. We just hope motorists obey the crossing guards, because a lot of the time drivers are unpredictable,” said Tellez.
This was echoed by other students who were glad to know the guards would be a regular addition to the crosswalk. “I think it’s a good thing, cars really zip around the intersection,” said Lana Lee, a graduate student in the Rehabilitation Counseling Department, “Any additional things you can do to protect the student are a great idea.”
Others barely noticed the presence of the guards, or thought they had always been there, but SF State junior, Hattie Dague finds an extra advantage to the new crossing guards—“I like it because there’s someone to say hello to as soon as I get to school,” Dague said.
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