The half hour before the morning bell rings at Clifford Street School often finds the narrow, steep street that runs past the Echo Park campus into a chaotic scene, with cars, vans and trucks packing the road and kids darting between idling vehicles. It’s a common sight at Clifford and other schools as parents drop off their kids. But, the morning rush at Clifford today was relatively calm after the school began a Safety Valet Program. Vehicles were herded into a drop off lane in front of the school as a group of staff and volunteers wearing yellow vests helped keep traffic and kids flowing, said Principal Armineh Alexan. “It was quite smooth this morning,” she said.
In addition to training the volunteers to work as valets, Alexan said parents are being advised to use the lane, which runs east and uphill on Duane Street, which is where students enter the campus, instead of dropping off their kids on the other side of the street, which forces students to cross the road when traffic is heavy.
Lisa Baca-Sigala, who was driving past the school this morning and snapped the above photo, said things were a big improvement on Duane, where cars and kids have come uncomfortably close.
Elysian Heights Elementary, located a few blocks east of Clifford, is also looking to start a similar program.
Alexan said she is looking for more volunteers to act as safety valets. She can be reached at 323-663-0474 or firstname.lastname@example.org