October 14, 2021 saw the formal opening of the ‘Safe Routes to School’ improvements focused on making La Ballona Elementary a safer place to get to on foot or by bike. The project, which took most of last year to complete, made the most of the year when students were not attending class to create the new accessibility and safety features. With curb extensions at intersections to shorten pedestrian crossing distances, ramps to make it easier to cross the street in a wheelchair or with a stroller, new high-visibility crosswalks, controlled intersections with median refuge islands on Washington Blvd., new street trees and pedestrian-scale lighting, the project makes La Ballona easier to access from every entrance.
As a grade school located on one of the busiest boulevards in Culver City, all these amendments enhance the area around La Ballona. As an additional benefit, the King Fahad Mosque, known to be a very busy location for pedestrian traffic, is also helped by the new crosswalks.
The new protected bike lane on Elenda Street between Culver Blvd. and Washington Blvd. will help bicyclists access not just La Ballona but also the contiguous campuses of Culver City High School, Culver City Middle School, and Farragut Elementary farther up on Elenda.
Work was funded by the California Active Transportation Program through a grant to the city.
Seven community outreach meetings were held in regard to the project, from November of 2017 to March of 2019, and the construction was concluded just after the schools were re-opened for students to attend live classes.
Photo Credit – Karim Sahli