CSUN students and other pedestrians are concerned with crossing the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Dearborn Street.
The CSUN Department of Police Services Traffic Safety Unit and the LAPD Valley Traffic Division conducted a pedestrian safety sting operation at the intersection earlier this month to see how many drivers and pedestrians would abide by the safety laws.
Plain-clothes officers attempted to cross Reseda Boulevard at the crosswalk, and motorists who did not yield to pedestrians were cited.
The operation started at 7:30 a.m. and concluded at 10 a.m. Over 100 citations were written and 17 warnings were given to drivers in the two-and-a-half hours that the operation took place.
“When they can write this many citations in such a short amount of time—that’s a major problem,” said Capt. Alfredo Fernandez of CSUN’s the Department of Police Services.
The task force was made up of 15 police officers. Three of the officers came from the Traffic Safety Unit, CSUN’s revamped motorcycle patrol. The other 12 officers came from the Devonshire Community Police Station, located in the 10,000 block of Etiwanda Avenue.
Nicole Jackson, a Cinema and Television Arts student, said the crosswalk does not feel safe during rush hour.
“I’d rather cross at the light (Reseda Boulevard and Nordhoff Street) because they have to yield,” she said.
Jackson usually crosses Reseda Boulevard between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and again between 3:30 p.m. and 4 p.m.
“Many drivers do not yield while trying to cross,” she said. “You don’t even know if they see you.”
Kristen Magallanes, health science major, said Reseda Boulevard is too big a street to not have a light at the intersection of Reseda Boulevard and Dearborn Street.
“It’s a pain in the ass,” Magallanes said before she started to cross Reseda Boulevard. “I’ve seen people try to cross and they stand there for about 20 minutes.”
Reindell Cole, Pan-African studies major, said he crosses Reseda Boulevard in the mornings and afternoons and it is not safe.
Jimmy Guerrero, kinesiology major, said he suggested that the city install lights on the crosswalk like they did on Zelzah Avenue.
“It’s the street of death,” Guerrero said as he walked across Reseda. “You’ve got to hope that these idiots stop.”
Babak Rochel, who is taking an LSAT course at CSUN, said he has almost been hit while trying to cross Reseda Boulevard.
“A lady (who) was making a left-hand turn from Dearborn (Street) onto Reseda (Boulevard), didn’t see me and floored it past me while I was in the middle of the intersection,” he said.
Rochel also suggested installing lights on the crosswalk that start flashing when pedestrians enter the crosswalk.
“It would make pedestrians more visible at night,” he said.
Dominic Epright, a pedestrian crossing the street, agreed.
“It’s a little hard to get across the street,” he said. “Most people don’t stop.”
Sgt. Arturo Gomez, of the Devonshire community police station, said the city of Los Angeles studied proposals to install lights at the crosswalk and decided against it.
The Los Angeles Department of Transportation (LADOT) makes its recommendations based on a number of factors, including traffic flow and cost, Gomez said.
Installing lights would cost the city over six figures, he said.
Fernandez said he estimates that a fair number of students were cited during the operation.
“I think it’s a sad commentary as to how we drive around campus,” he said.
Fernandez added that pedestrians need to take safety seriously, too.
“Pedestrians who crossed inappropriately were cited as well,” he said. “It’s everyone’s responsibility to ensure we’re safe.”