By Erik Luna
Should I cross now? No, how about now? It’s been over five minutes, I have to get to class already.
The students who park in the hills behind East Los Angeles College know the fear of crossing Floral Dr. during rush hour. Busy bodies from East Los Angeles and Monterey Park zip through this street on their way back from lunch or to rush back home. Usually there will be two or three students waiting to cross Floral to get to school. They park in the hills to try and save money or to get to class a bit earlier, but this can sometimes be dangerous.
Just last Thursday, an accident took place in the corner of Floral and Crest Vista Dr. Even though no one was hurt badly, the cars involved sure did take damage. Personally, I park on Brightwood St. because it usually has plenty of space to park and it forces me to walk uphill. It also does save me money. Also, walking up Crest Vista is a workout on its own.
For those who spend way too much time at school, walking up that hill each day makes for great exercise and for those who park there daily, it sure does help. Besides, the parking structure can be hectic at times, especially during 10 a.m. to noon. I’ve waited almost six to seven minutes waiting for an opportunity to cross the dreaded street.
A simple solution would be to have Monterey Park set up a crosswalk or even a traffic light, seeing that drivers have started having accidents now. ELAC’s Work-Environment Committee had proposed to build a crosswalk on Floral and even a new crosswalk on Avenida Cesar E. Chavez, but building plans have been slow. The safety of ELAC’s students should be priority number one and this crosswalk or traffic light will go a long way to protect these students who park up in the hills.
Students do need to realize that drivers don’t need to stop for them. The cars have the right of way. Some students walk carelessly through a busy street, expecting the drivers to stop. That’s how accidents happen. An accident seems imminent, especially with midterms and finals coming up.
Students need to take precautions to ensure they get to class on time and safely. Running through Floral without looking both ways is no way to get to class. Everyone who attended an elementary school and paid attention to the road safety lectures, usually given by a policeman, would know the old saying “look both ways before you cross.”
It’s common sense. Pay attention to the road and no one will get hurt or worse. Hopefully, once ELAC’s new parking structure on Floral and Collegian Ave. is finished, parking won’t be too bad. However, I predict students will still be parking up in the hills. I know I will.