by Lani Tunzi
Yosemite Drive from Eagle Rock Boulevard to North Figueroa Street is home to residences, businesses and community buildings – churches, schools, a park and a public pool. But it often seems more like a race track than an accommodating neighborhood street.
I vividly remember watching first responders rush towards Eagle Rock High School in 2017, when two students walking home were struck by a speeding vehicle and had to be hospitalized.
And just this April, a vehicle smashed into one of the high school’s fences, taking out crosswalk signage in the process.
Such incidents have been so frequent that the section of Yosemite Dr. in front of Eagle Rock High is included in the city’s High-Injury Network of roads.
There have been efforts to improve safety. The Eagle Rock Association (TERA), an improvement group, has repeatedly reached out to Council District 14 requesting support regarding the dire status of the street. But the city has done little.
Now, TERA is trying to raise awareness with “Slow Yosemite,” a safety committee focused on improving the current conditions of Yosemite Drive. Slow Yosemite will advocate for Lead Pedestrian Intervals at traffic signals to give pedestrians more time to cross, a center lane for bicycles, Rapid Rectangular Flashing Beacons at unsignalized crosswalks, continental crosswalks at the intersections of Yosemite Drive with Maywood Avenue, La Roda Avenue, Townsend Avenue, Avoca Street, Wiota Street and North Figueroa Street, as well as new crosswalk markings at Rosemary Drive, Avoca Street and Glacier Drive.
Mylene Keipp, the principal of Eagle Rock High, passionately supports the Slow Yosemite initiative. “Our kindergarten through senior high students, staff, and community members need Slow Yosemite for the safer passage for all,” she said.
Lani Tunzi will be in the 12th grade next year at Eagle Rock High School.