SAN JOSE (BCN)
Santa Clara County and San Jose officials joined community members at an intersection in San Jose today to officially open a newly constructed and safer crosswalk that had been sought in the neighborhood.
Representatives from the San Jose Police Department, Valley Palms Unidos, San Jose Councilmember Tam Nguyen and students from the nearby Katherine Smith Elementary School helped to cut a red ribbon in front of the crosswalk at Lanai Avenue and Waverly Avenue.
The ceremony symbolized the completion of an effort toward one of the neighborhood’s biggest priorities: pedestrian safety.
Alex Shkouratoff, the engineer who designed the enhanced crosswalk for the Valley Palms/Tully-Ocala neighborhood, said that while the new features of the crosswalk make pedestrians easier to see, they need to follow three rules: cross only in the designated area, press the button so the lights turn on above the crosswalk and look both ways even when they press the button.
Students and parents who regularly use the crosswalk led a “Walking School Bus” from the school to the Valley Palms Apartments.
Santa Clara County officials said the walk was meant to symbolize the initial campaign for the crosswalk in which 220 community members walked to school in April 2017.
Rachel Trowbridge, assistant principal of Katherine Smith Elementary, expressed excitement about the project being finished because she personally walks students in the “Walking School Bus” in the mornings and knows how hard it can be to cross Lanai Avenue at 7:30 a.m. when the kids need to get on their way.
“We do big and small and other sized events,” Nguyen said. “But for me, this is the most relevant and important one right here.”