Crossing guard helps get students to class safely

Francisco Arteaga, Chapman University's new crossing guard, helps students cross safely while the sidewalk on Center Street is closed for construction.

Francisco Arteaga, Chapman’s new crossing guard, helps students cross safely while construction takes place. Photo by Chloé Arrouye

A crossing guard has been stationed at the lighted crosswalk at the intersection of Walnut Avenue and Grand Street to help students safely navigate between campus and the dorms, since the sidewalk leading to the Argyros Forum on Center Street has been closed to start the construction of the Center for Science and Technology.

“Due to the significant amount of the pedestrian and vehicular traffic in that intersection, the City of Orange and the university deemed it prudent to have a crossing guard for as long as the sidewalk to Argyros is closed,” said Kris Olsen, vice president of campus planning and operations.

The crossing guard, Francisco Arteaga, has been controlling traffic since Jan. 11 from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Before coming to Chapman, Arteaga spent eight years as a crossing guard at a school in Anaheim Hills. While some might think that being a crossing guard is not that difficult, there are certain challenges and dangers when dealing with traffic. For Arteaga, controlling the traffic is the most challenging part of his job.

“Some cars just won’t stop,” Arteaga said.

He also has to make sure that all the pedestrians are safe. Arteaga makes sure that everyone walks their bikes or skateboards across the crosswalk, as a way to prevent any accidents.

During times with less activity, Arteaga likes to “watch and relax.” This way, he prevents himself from being caught off guard and is always ready to help students cross the street.

As the weeks wear on, some students are getting more used to having a crossing guard at the crosswalk.

“I feel a little bit safer. There is no stop light, or I don’t even think a stop sign there, and all they have are the blinkers, so it does feel a little bit safer,” said Louis Jameson, a freshman business and economics major.

Michelle Pridgeon, a sophomore health science major, said she feels safer with Arteaga there.

“I think (the crossing guard is) really helpful because a lot of times, students just walk whenever andit backs up the traffic,” Pridgeon said.

Jerry Price, vice chancellor for student affair and dean of students, wrote in an email that students can expect to have a crossing guard at this intersection for the duration of the Center for Science and Technology project, which is set to be completed in the summer of 2018.

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