After several close calls, P.S. 97 is getting a traffic light outside its school.
The Allerton school has been fighting an uphill battle to get the city Department of Transportation to approve a stop light for Fish and Mace avenues for several years, sources said.
The area outside the school was the scene of a few accidents during the 2013-14 school year, said P.S. 97 Parent Teacher Association president Belinda DiMurro.
The news was greeted with joy in the school community, with many thanking Councilman Jimmy Vacca, who advocated for a light with the DOT.
“Speeding cars have been a dangerous problem at this intersection for years, especially with an elementary school so close by,” said Vacca. “I’m glad DOT has listened to the requests of the community and decided to install a full traffic light here. This will make life much safer and easier for both pedestrians and drivers in this neighborhood.”
The traffic is especially bad at the intersections of Mace at Seymour avenues, where there is a crossing guard, and on Fish, said DiMurro
The school community has been advocating for a traffic light for about seven years, said principal Kathleen Bornkamp.
“After numerous accidents involving more than one car and parents being hit by cars, I am so happy to hear that a light will be installed on the corner of Mace and Fish avenues,” said Bornkamp.
“I have been working along with my community trying to get this light and Councilman Vacca has been working alongside of us for most of the way. It is so nice when all of our hard work pays off and we are able to work together to provide a safer community for all of our members.”
Heaping even more praise on Vacca for what he accomplished was Community Board 11 chairman Tony Vitaliano.
“Due to Council Member Vacca’s persistence and commitment, we have finally secured this much-needed traffic light, which will go a long way towards improving safety in the community,” he said. “It has been a pleasure to work with him and his office on this issue.”
DiMurro said her fellow PTA officers also expressed their enthusiasm about the new stop light. She expects that the new traffic control will slow down traffic around the school, allowing for parents, who are often in a rush themselves, to drop off and pick up their children safely.
Bornkamp thanked Vacca for the new traffic light, which his office said will be installed by November.