New York City Transportation Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan today announced that 97% of the short term safety improvements at the 135 priority schools in the Safe Routes to Schools Initiative are complete. This work includes new traffic and pedestrian signals, the addition of exclusive pedestrian crossing time, speed bumps, speed boards, high visibility crosswalks and new parking regulations. DOT also announced that capital construction on long term improvements has begun. The next 135 public, private and parochial elementary and middle schools will be identified this winter as well as 40 high schools for similar safety enhancements. Commissioner Sadik-Khan made today's announcement at I.S. 192 in the St. Albans section of Queens.
"Every child deserves a safe route to school," said Commissioner Sadik-Khan. "And thanks to the Safe Routes to School program the streets around more than one-hundred of the city's most accident prone schools have been upgraded with new traffic signals, signs, crosswalks and other safety features that will help keep our kids safe."
At I.S. 192, where the announcement was made, completed short-term improvements include new yield to pedestrian signs, school crossing signs, ladder style crosswalks and a new traffic signal at the intersection of Hollis Avenue and 205th Street. Long term plans include the installation of curb extensions at two intersections.
Long-term capital construction has begun at I.S. 131 in lower Manhattan, and will follow at P.S. 72 and P.S. 124 also in Manhattan, I.S. 131, St. Simon Stock and P.S. 9 in the Bronx, P.S. 217, P.S. 314, P.S. 92 and I.S. 252 in Brooklyn, I.S. 192 in Queens and I.S. 51 in Staten Island. This work will include neckdowns (sidewalk extensions that slow turning vehicles and narrow the crossing distance for pedestrians), pedestrian islands, raised medians and sidewalk widening projects.
With 97% of the short term safety improvements complete as part of the Safe Routes Program DOT has added:
- New school crosswalks 330
- Safer curb regulations 155
- New standard crosswalks 73
- Yield to pedestrian signs 89
- Speed reducers (bumps) 56
- Marked medians/other traffic calming 14
- Safer signal timing/New signals 25
- Bicycle lanes 2
- Advanced Warning Signs 2202
- Pedestrian information signs 176
- Speed Boards 4
DOT introduced the Safe Routes to School initiative to focus safety improvements at city schools with the highest accident rates. DOT examined accident histories around the city’s 1,471 elementary and middle schools and established a list of 135 priority schools to be considered for traffic safety improvements. Of the 135 schools, 25 were in the Bronx, 46 in Brooklyn, 23 in Manhattan, 33 in Queens and 8 in Staten Island. Each priority school underwent thorough study that included outreach to each principal, meetings with parents and other interested parties, collection and analysis of data concerning traffic conditions and student travel patterns and development, evaluation and approval of comprehensive short-and long-term pedestrian safety improvement measures.
In addition to the improvements at the 135 priority schools, DOT upgraded school crosswalk signs around all 1,471 school locations and created and distributed traffic safety maps for each school. These maps provide information for principals, teachers, parents and students about traffic safety infrastructure around their schools including traffic signals, all-way stop signs, speed reducers and school crosswalks. The maps can be used to chart safes routes to and from schools. Maps for all 1,471 schools are available on-line at www.nyc.gov/saferoutes.
Safe Routes to School is one of many City programs aimed at keeping students safe on the streets and sidewalks around City schools. DOT has made a number of improvements to the infrastructure around City schools. Since June, DOT has installed 100 speed reducers around City schools (including non-priority schools). Of the 1,139 speed reducers citywide, 663 are now in the vicinity of schools. DOT also has an annual program to replace and repair sidewalks around schools and just this summer DOT spent $5.4 million reconstructing almost 7 miles of curb and 663,000 square feet of sidewalk at 56 schools around the city.
Members of the City's Congressional Delegation have been instrumental in securing federal funds to support the Safe Routes to School program including Congressmen Jerrold Nadler, Anthony D. Weiner and Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez.