We began our summer adventure with a trip to the La Brea Tar Pits and Original Farmer’s Market. We had a nice time, learned quite a bit, and decided the summer was going to be quite an adventure. Then we got in the car to head home. This is when everything changed.
The 35-mile drive home took 3 hours and 10 minutes.
By the time we arrived at our house, everyone was done. We were all grumpy, angry, tired, and sufficiently frustrated to forget the great time we’d have that day. The only saving grace was driving into the neighborhood. We found our calm and sanity pulling into Rossmoor. The neighborhood was quiet this afternoon, a light breeze welcomed us home and we found respite and safety inside this small corner of the world we call home. Needless to say, our Summer O’ Adventure only lasted one week; no one could stomach the thought of braving the LA traffic again.
Which is why I find myself so frustrated by the debilitating morning school traffic around Los Alamitos. Regardless the school – elementary, middle or high – the traffic congestion has gotten out of control. The challenges may not be as severe as the 405 freeway on a Wednesday afternoon, but just in my small corner of Rossmoor by Lee Elementary, cars speed down Silverwood, Donovan and Loch Lomand to avoid the congestion on Foster. Cars are lined up to Rossmoor Park from the light at Wallingsford, waiting to exit the neighborhood. Everyone is in a hurry, and every student’s safety is at risk – too many cars, not enough cross walks, frayed nerves for working parents, and a speed limit left ignored. And I know this is happening all around our district schools.
Why has the traffic gotten so bad? What happened to our quiet neighborhoods with neighborhood kids that brought me and my husband here almost twelve years ago? How can we go about restoring the community and quality of life in Los Alamitos, Rossmoor and Seal Beach?
I think it’s time to discuss this problem. I don’t have all the answers, but I do have some ideas about what issues we can discuss to try to solve this challenge:
- staggered start times for each school
- designated drop-offs at busing locations outside of Rossmoor
- elimination of inter-district transfers
- equal distribution of inter-district transfers among schools
- more crosswalks
- more sheriff presence
I want to see more neighborhood kids walking, biking, skateboarding to school with friends. I want to see our neighborhoods become the safe-haven we all remember. I want to see safety become a priority.
I want a lot … but don’t we all?