OPNC approved and funded a Neighborhood Purposes Grant to the Friends of GALA organization in November 2022.
Funding was granted for 2 different projects on West Boulevard between Olympic Boulevard and Edgewood. First, the funding was used to enhance traffic safety during the very busy student drop-off and pick-up times at the Girls Academic Leadership Academy (GALA). LAUSD does not provide funding for crossing guards or for traffic safety equipment at middle schools and high schools. The OPNC funding was used to purchase hand-held stop signs, bright orange and purple safety vests for school staff and parent volunteers, traffic cones, chain cone connectors, and A-frame signs. All of this equipment was designed to protect students, our volunteer crossing guards, and drivers, and also to alert drivers to the traffic and pedestrians during the school drop-off and pick-up times. Second, the funds were used to beautify the tree beds on the east side of West Boulevard. The tree beds had not been landscaped; they were full of weeds, and was a place where trash accumulated. OPNC funds were used to purchase mulch and gardening supplies so that our parent volunteers could pull weeds and add mulch to the tree beds.
The traffic safety project did this in many ways, particularly by increasing the safety of community members and students: (1) by providing better safety equipment for our crossing guards, GALA has been able to have 1-2 consistent crossing guards at Edgewood and Olympic Boulevard. These crossing guards ensure that all pedestrians – GALA students, LA High students, and community members who are taking morning and afternoon walks – can cross the street safely; (2) the clear demarcation of the student loading zones as well as the signage, alerts drivers to the loading zone. Both parents and drivers who are passing on West during drop-off and pick-up times have clear directions and know where to go, and now fewer drivers attempt the very dangerous 3-point turn in the middle of West Blvd. as they know that they cannot intercept the lane that is marked by the cones. The orange cones also alert drivers to slow down. The beautification project enhanced the neighborhood and served a public benefit by providing landscaping to the street. Though we had wished to plant flowers in the tree beds, we discovered that the tree beds are too shallow to grow most types of flowers. As an alternative, we believe that the mulch has improved the look of the tree beds by eliminating most weeds and providing a more uniform look to the street.