Prioritizing student safety at new Alpine high school

Supervisor Joel Anderson

School is back in session, and we are especially excited this year to welcome Liberty Charter High School students to their new campus in Alpine! As school staff were settling into their new home this summer, they had concerns about how to ensure the road in front of the school remained as safe as possible for student pedestrians. After working closely with the parents, school board members, and administrators at Liberty Charter High, I am delighted to announce several new safety enhancements and improvements on Alpine Boulevard – right in time for the first day of school.

Liberty Charter High School is located at the former campus of Alpine Elementary School, which closed its doors in 2019. During the school site’s indefinite closure, families flooded the new Alpine Library next door. Since the former elementary school’s crosswalk was already being removed as part of the County’s school decommissioning process, a new crosswalk was proposed closer to the library entrance – just a few hundred feet away from the school site. The County Department of Public Works (DPW) staff completed comprehensive traffic study and received approval from the Board of Supervisors, establishing a new crosswalk to meet the needs of library goers, Alpine residents, and future students if a school were reestablished.

Three years later, students are returning to the campus; but this time, young drivers, both in-training and newly licensed, will be frequenting the area. Liberty Charter Principal Debbie Beyer initially requested my office to look into redrawing the school site’s original crosswalk. My staff connected Debbie to DPW right away. However, we quickly learned that the County’s Department of Public Works (DPW) does not place two crosswalks within a few hundred feet of each other due to safety and traffic disruption concerns. After learning the school’s original request would not be feasible, I knew we needed to think creatively to enhance student safety on Alpine Blvd.

My office organized a site visit on August 16 inviting school administrators, concerned parents, and County staff to discuss other safety options. As a result of that meeting, DPW is already hard at work implementing six safety enhancements to the area surrounding the school: 1) installing flashing lights at the existing crosswalk to increase driver awareness, 2) placing 25 MPH school zone signs on both sides of the street to slow traffic, 3) adding signage at the old walkway to direct pedestrians to the new crosswalk, 4) removing ADA ramps of old crosswalk to avoid pedestrian confusion, 5) coordinating with California Highway Patrol to provide increased presence and reinforce safe driving habits during the first week of school, and 6) hosting an assembly with CHP to educate students on road and crosswalk safety.

I am grateful to the staff and parents at Liberty Charter High School for contacting my office, so we could work together to find creative solutions to provide the safest road conditions possible for our students.

It’s my job to make County government work for you. If there is any way I can ever be of assistance to you, please do not hesitate to contact my office at www.supervisorjoelanderson. com/contact, Joel.Anderson@sdcounty. ca.gov, or (619) 441-4327.

Prioritizing student safety at new Alpine high school

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