FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #19-008
Monday, February 4, 2019
Contact: Scott Gastel/Brian Zumhagen (212) 839-4850
New Crossing Enhances Safety, Accessibility at New Dorp High School on Staten Island
New crosswalk and Accessible Pedestrian Signals make location safer for students at a high school that has been a Vision Zero focus
The New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) today joined and the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Staten Island elected officials, and students and teachers to unveil a new signalized crosswalk that enhances safety and accessibility for students at New Dorp High School and the Hungerford School, a District 75 school housed within New Dorp High School. District 75 provides specialized instruction for students with disabilities.
“The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities is pleased to partner with DOT to make our City streets more accessible for New Yorkers and visitors with disabilities,” said MOPD Commissioner Victor Calise. “Adding Vison Zero and accessibility improvements at New Dorp High School will enable all students, including individuals with disabilities, to travel near their school more safely and independently. We appreciate DOT’s continued commitment to increasing accessibility and look forward to adding similar features at crosswalks around the City whenever possible.”
“We have brought Vision Zero safety improvements and accessibility enhancements to a location where students have for years been putting themselves in danger by walking across New Dorp Lane without crosswalks, traffic signals, or ramps,” said DOT Staten Island Borough Commissioner Tom Cocola. “We have now made it possible for all pedestrians, especially students with disabilities, to cross safely when traveling to and from school.”
The new crosswalk adds medians, ramps and a pedestrian refuge in front of the school, so students with disabilities can access sidewalks safely. It also features Accessible Pedestrian Signals (APS), which help blind and low-vision pedestrians cross streets more safely by sending audible and vibrotactile indications at the push of a button installed at the crosswalk.
The project began when school leaders met with Borough President James Oddo and DOT officials to outline changes to their dismissal procedures. This was followed by another meeting with DOT and leaders from New Dorp and Hungerford to discuss plans for a new crossing. DOT presented the proposal to Community Board 2 in May 2018. Signal installation and concrete work began in September and wrapped up the following month. DOT is scheduled to refurbish lane markings on New Dorp Lane in the spring.
New Dorp High School is already a Vision Zero focus this school year, with DOT educators teaching the entire senior class of 700 a new driver safety curriculum called “Alive at 25.” The four-session program funded by the National Safety Council is being taught at 20 public high schools around New York City this year to engage young and aspiring motorists. Drivers between the ages of 18 and 25 were behind the wheel in 20 percent of all New York City fatal crashes in 2017 (a total of 44 crashes), despite making up less than 10 percent of the driving population.
“Making sure our kids can get to and from school safely is critically important, especially for students with disabilities,” said Congressman Max Rose. “These critical upgrades are the result of collaboration and input from all levels, which is a great thing to see.”
“Common sense measures lead to increased pedestrian safety around our schools. I have repeatedly called upon DOT to incorporate these types of improvements to enhance safety, said State Senator Andrew Lanza. “I applaud DOT for the enhancements unveiled today.”
“The Vision Zero safety enhancements to New Dorp High School represent a much needed improvement to the safety of students and the community. In addition to having a safe environment, all schools deserve to be fully accessible and these improvements will provide a safe and equitable environment as students and parents cross the street and get to school. Thank you, Department of Transportation for prioritizing safety and accessibility for students, parents and teachers,” said City Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez.
“Among our basic responsibilities in government is not just to educate our children, but to do all we can to help students arrive at school and return home safely – and this new crosswalk does just that,” said City Council Member Steven Matteo. “I am pleased to have with worked with the Borough President, the Mayor’s Office, DOE and DOT to get this done, and will continue to work with this city to improve street safety for pedestrians and motorists.”
“The New Dorp High School community is extremely grateful for the improvements made by the Department of Transportation that help ensure the safety of our staff and students on New Dorp Lane,” said New Dorp High School Principal Deirdre DeAngelis.