Lawmakers Call for Traffic Calming Measures Near P.S. 120 Queens
Flushing, NY – Assemblywoman Nily Rozic (D,WF-Fresh Meadows), State Senator Toby Ann Stavisky (D-Flushing) and Council Member Peter Koo (D-Flushing) called upon the City Department of Transportation (DOT) to implement traffic calming measures at the intersection of 58th Road and 136th Street near the main entrance of P.S. 120. The lawmakers are urging NYC DOT revisit this request.
“The P.S. 120 Queens community witnesses close calls from reckless drivers in front of their school,” said Rozic. “Administrators, teachers, and parents worry daily that a collision will occur and the current speed limit sign has not proven effective enough to protect their children. I urge NYC DOT to work immediately with the school community and find a solution to improve safety.”
In March 2017, Rozic’s office contacted NYC DOT requesting traffic calming measures at the intersection. The request was accompanied by a letter signed by parents of P.S.120 requesting traffic calming measures to be implemented given the high volume of pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Aside from one speed limit sign, the crossroads surrounding P.S.120 do not have any indicators to slow down vehicles going at high speeds due to the proximity to the Long Island Expressway. To better protect students, the school has asked NYC DOT to install speed bumps, stop signs, or any other available traffic calming measures.
“I urge the DOT to take another look at traffic surrounding PS 120. The school educates over 1,000 children and this creates high traffic flow throughout the day. According to Vision Zero data, there have been at least three people injured in front of the school over the last two years. I believe we can work together to find a solution to make the area surrounding the school safe for all with the installation of traffic calming measures,” said Senator Stavisky (D-Flushing).
“The start and end of the school day can be a chaotic time around a school, and we want to make sure that every precaution is being taken to ensure the safety of our children. My office has worked with PS 120Q and the city on safety improvements at this intersection for years. While we were able to close down the street during the construction of the playground, it was but a temporary fix to the larger traffic safety concerns of the school community. The city worked with us then, and we hope it will continue to keep an open mind about additional safety controls at PS 120Q,” said Council Member Koo (D-Flushing).
“Current safety measures in place were designed for a school with a much smaller student population. Furthermore, increased population density has greatly increased traffic volume in the area of the school, and especially since the elimination of two traffic lanes on Main Street for Select Bus Service,” said Don Capalbi, President Emeritus of Queensboro Hill Neighborhood Association. “Also, there is no apparent down-side to the requested change. The only result will be improved safety of children.”
“As a parent of two young kids in P.S.120Q, I am very disappointed in the findings of the DOT. This intersection, although deemed safe in the latest traffic study, is a traffic hazard during drop off and dismissal. I drop off my children and pick them up daily and I have seen many near calls where students are almost clipped or ran over by speeding vehicles heading eastbound on 58th Road. Drivers heading north on 136th Street also don’t heed their stop sign causing a dangerous intersection. Many schools around the area have multiple crossing guards, stop signs, speed bumps, active duty police officers and traffic lights that our school crossing zones lack and that is unacceptable. I urge the NYC DOT to reconsider their findings and reassess the intersection. It is harder to act than to react. Let us do what we can to keep our young ones safe,” said P.S. 120 parent Michael Pineda.
In December 2017, NYC DOT responded that after completing a traffic study, the intersection did not merit any traffic calming measures. Rozic, Stavisky, and Koo are urging DOT to revisit the area and work jointly with the school community to ensure all possible options are explored. The lawmakers’ efforts are one of many taken to increase traffic mitigation, ease congestion, and reduce speeding around schools.