Safety is worth a 'Look'

Large sign bearing that word is placed at high-traffic intersection to urge pedestrian safety.

January 07, 2011|By Veronica Rocha,
(Tim Berger )

CENTRAL GLENDALE — Broadway and Glendale Avenue got a new, safe "look" on Thursday.

As part of an ongoing public safety campaign, public works crews painted over a large stencil with the word "Look," which was placed at the foot of the crosswalk as a warning to pedestrians to look for oncoming traffic before crossing.

The message in English, Armenian and Spanish will be placed at several intersections with high foot traffic as part of the city's "Driven 2 Distraction" public education campaign aimed to curb distracted driving and encourage pedestrian safety, officials said.

Along with the word "Look," the stencil includes an arrow pointing pedestrians to the intended direction of travel.

"We have done pedestrian safety stuff for a long time, and it's just time for us to step this up," Public Works Director Steve Zurn said. "It just isn't getting any better, and we need to do more and whatever we can to educate and to shock people into being safer — both motorists and pedestrians."


More than 2,300 traffic collisions occurred in Glendale last year, according to the Police Department. Of those collisions, 660 resulted in injuries, and six were fatal. Sixty-four collisions involved pedestrians.

To combat an increasing number of pedestrian-involved traffic collisions, Zurn said the city bought the customized sentence to get the word out about traffic safety to residents. Similar street signs have been used in England and Ireland, he added.

"It's just one aspect of a greater campaign," he said.

The Police Department launched the public education campaign in November when it staged two badly wrecked vehicles on Glenoaks Boulevard and Verdugo Road with the messages "Slow down" and "Texting kills."

The campaign — funded through a $254,795 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety — was also focused on city engineering, public education and targeted law enforcement operations.

The city also bought the Internet address, Glendale Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

The website, which hasn't been launched, will eventually become a how-to guide for residents, visitors and businesses on traffic safety in the city, he said. Crucial statistics and safety tips will also be displayed on the site.

Mayor Ara Najarian said the city must use all efforts to prevent and decrease the number of pedestrian-involved collisions.

"There is a limit, and we have reached that limit," he said. "We have to really raise this to be one of our top priorities for the community because we are losing children, elderly and disabled people, and babies in baby carriages are getting hit, and drivers who are the ones who failed to yield are having their lives ruined."

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