Helping to keep our pedestrians safe!
There are over 2,600 children each day who attend school in the village of Coronado. A great deal of these children ride their bikes or walk to school. There are also many, many cars on the same streets.
Years ago, crossing guard services at the intersections of Sixth Street and Orange and Sixth and Alameda were provided by officers from the Coronado Police Department. Eventually there was a traffic light installed at Sixth and Orange Avenue and Crown School at the far end of Sixth (now the ECDC) closed. Children needing to cross Orange Avenue were encouraged to use the lights at Sixth and Eighth streets. This proved ineffective.
In the interest of safety and efficiency, the current system of crossing guards was established about ten years ago. The crossing guards are employed by Bradley Security and operate as part of a contract between their employer and the City of Coronado.
There are currently four crossing guards serving our families. A brief conversation with any one of them assures you that the safety of our children is their first priority.
Vanessa Madrigal and Patrina Noah proudly display their crossing guard stop signs
Meet Vanessa Madrigal and Patrina Noah
From 7:45-8:15 a.m. and 2:20-3:05 p.m. each week day, you will find Vanessa and Patrina at the intersection of Orange Avenue and Seventh Street. Vanessa works two jobs and is a mother of three. She has lived in Southern California her entire life and graduated from Chula Vista High School. She has been a crossing guard for twelve years and currently resides in Imperial Beach. During her free time, Vanessa loves to spend time with her family. When asked about being a crossing guard, Vanessa says, “We are parents ourselves so we want kids to be safe.” Though she appears somewhat shy, Vanessa is friendly and talkative and takes her job seriously.
Patrina is originally from Brooklyn, New York and has lived in Coronado for eleven years. She has been a crossing guard for three years and also runs the food cart at Coronado Middle School. She is the mother of three children. Her two daughters are both Coronado High School graduates and her husband is the General Manager at Peohe’s Restaurant at the Ferry Landing. In her free time, Patrina loves to relax and “do nothing!” As a crossing guard, Patrina wants drivers to know that they need to “pay attention to the road. No texting, talking on cell phones, putting make-up on. SLOW DOWN!” If you aren’t driving safely, bets are that Patrina will let you know. She is not afraid to raise her voice to ensure the safety of our pedestrians.
You can find Vanessa and Patrina at this intersection, Orange Avenue and Seventh, each week day.
Vanessa and Patrina both agree that most of the time they are appreciated, but some drivers are annoyed with them. There is a method and strategy to safely stopping traffic for pedestrians but not letting vehicular traffic build up down Orange Avenue. The school zone signs don't necessarily provide for a lot of reaction time, so if you drive along Orange Avenue during the hours before and after school, please be vigilant and pay attention to the road.
James Noriega crosses middle school students on their way to and from Physical Education classes
Meet Jaime “James” Noriega
James has been a crossing guard since August 2011 and was recently moved to Sixth Street and F Avenue. His new post requires that he work from 7:45 a.m. to 3:05 p.m. each week day. In addition to crossing people at arrival and dismissal times, he is also responsible for crossing middle school students as they make their way to Physical Education. P.E. lockers and sometimes instruction are located on the high school side of Sixth Street.
James is a 2008 graduate of Chula Vista High School and is currently studying sociology at Southwestern College. He loves being a crossing guard for the opportunity it provides to meet different people and to observe the way that our students interact with each other. The hours are attractive to James because he can work during the day and attend classes in the evening. Though somewhat quiet and reserved, he is efficient and friendly. He would like drivers to “drive safely and observe the speed limit”. Pedestrians can make his job easier by “waiting for the crossing guard to tell you it’s safe to cross”.
Though this is his first school year as a crossing guard, he has already received accolades for his work. Coronado Police Department Traffic Sergeant Matt Mitchell told me that, “Every few weeks I get a call from parents singing his praises because he really cares about the kids and their safety.”
James Noriega spends each week day here safely crossing students and parents
Sal Noriega braves Fourth Street at F Avenue each week day afternoon to safely cross Coronado students
Meet Salvador “Sal” Noriega
Sal is a brand new crossing guard and the older brother of James. Sal’s first day was just a week ago. His post is at Third Street and F Avenue in the morning and Fourth Street and F Avenue in the afternoon.
Sal is a 2005 graduate of Palomar High School. He is currently a business major at City College, pursuing a minor in Political Science. He became a crossing guard because he “likes helping kids and it works well with my class schedule.” He would someday like to run his own business. Sal likes to play basketball, hang out and relax in his free time.
His message for motorists is to “Please slow down and watch for pedestrians.” When asked about how the pedestrians could make his job easier, he said, “The kids are all very polite and respectful; very good kids.” He is approachable and friendly and very conscientious. This intersection is challenging because it is so wide and it's often difficult for the far lane of motorists to see the crossing guard. Please drive with caution, wherever you may be going on our beautfiul island and watch for the ever present pedestrians.
Watch for pedestrians at this intersection, especially between 2:20 and 3:20 p.m. each day.
All four of our crossing guards show a deep commitment to the safety of our children, but also to all pedestrians. One middle school student offered, "I always say thank you, everyday!" These folks are not simply employees doing a job, but members of our commuity, doing a part to keep us safe.
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Thank you to Traffic Sergeant Matt Mitchell and Commander Waczek of the Coronado Police Department for their contributions to this story.
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