County makes Rosemont Middle School crossing-guard plan permanent

March 05, 2014|By Arin Mikailian,
  • Crossing guard Mario Bocanegra stops traffic so children going to Rosemont Middle School can cross safely at Rosemont Ave. and Los Amigos St. in La Crescenta on Tuesday, March 4, 2014. Bocanegra has been stationed at this corner since last school year but his contract was due to expire at the end of this year.
Crossing guard Mario Bocanegra stops traffic so children… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

To the delight of parents and students, a unique crossing-guard program at a Crescenta Valley middle school has not only been extended but may expand throughout the county.

On Tuesday, the Los Angeles Board of Supervisors unanimously approved making the trial program at Rosemont Middle School permanent, and also put in place a process for middle schools in unincorporated areas to apply for funds for crossing guards. The board received hundreds of letters from local parents, students and school officials urging the move.

Other than Rosemont and the nearby Monte Vista Elementary School, which relies on the same crosswalk, the vote doesn’t impact the rest of the Glendale Unified School District where crossing guards are assigned by the city.

But school officials say they’re glad the county will continue a program that’s already proven effective.

“We’re thrilled that the Board of Supervisors agrees with the district and the community that our student safety is a priority and that they agreed that the middle school students in this area warranted a crossing guard,” said Assistant Supt. Kelly King. “There have been close calls there in the past.”


On school mornings and afternoons, Mario Bocanegra works the intersection at Rosemont Avenue and Los Amigos Street — where there are no stop signs — helping groups of students make it safely across.

“This is one of the most dangerous intersections I’ve ever worked,” Bocanegra said on a recent afternoon. “I call it Route 66 because it’s a freeway here. People are just flying through here like crazy, they go 80, 90 [miles per hour].”

Bocanegra started in 2012 at the behest of school administrators, Rosemont’s Parent-Teacher Assn. and the Crescenta Valley Town Council.

“We’ve noticed that the crosswalk has become enormously safer and it’s changed the flow of traffic in the community,” said Rosemont Principal Cynthia Livingston.

Though there haven’t been any recent student accidents at Bocanegra’s intersection, Crescenta Valley Town Council President Robyn Battles recalled the time when she was a Rosemont student and her brother’s friend was hit and broke several bones.

Bocanegra’s work has also helped drivers in the area by waiting until he has 20 to 30 students before stopping cars instead of before, when students would cross one or two at a time, she said.

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