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NYC Department of Transportation reviews P.S. 97’s traffic issues

Department of Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan visited P.S. 97 last week to discuss possible safety measures to reduce vehicle speeding that has school officials and residents concerned for student’s safety.

For years parents and administrators of P.S. 97 have voiced their concerns regarding the dangerous street, which has no speed deterrent between Esplanade Avenue and Eastchester Road.

According to John Fratta, district manager of Community Board 11, the board has submitted numerous requests over the years to acquire a traffic light, speed hump or all-way stop sign, but each time was denied.

At the invitation of Councilman Jimmy Vacca, Sadik-Khan made an appearance at the school on Thursday, April 1, to discuss alternate strategies to reduce speeding and increase safety.

“Kids are one of the most vulnerable pedestrian groups and we are tripling the number of safety speed zones,” Sadik-Khan said.“This area seems like a good candidate for our reduced speed zone.”

DOT will soon be conducting a study to determine if the addition of the reduced speed zone, which lowers the speed limit to 20 miles per hour during school hours, would be effective.

The reduced speed zone would include the installation of signage and flashing lights to indicate the new speed limit and warn drivers.

Additionally, DOT is considering adding road markings, such as striping, that would visually narrow Mace Avenue.

“Flashing light go a long way to eliminate the speeding and striping the lanes really delineates the roadway and will take care of the problem after regular school hours,” said Sadik-Khan.

According to Vacca he will continue to monitor the situation.

“I think they recognize that we have a problem at P.S. 97.We will give them this opportunity, but if it does not work we will have to come back,” said Vacca.“Everything else we requested here has been denied, so now we move onto something else.If it doesn’t work our case will only be stronger.”

The study is expected to begin this summer to avoid disturbing P.S. 97 while school is in session.

Reach reporter Amanda Marinaccio at (718) 742-3394 or amarinaccio@cnglocal.com

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