Bayside’s P.S. 46 beginning measures to reduce local traffic

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The P.S. 46 school community in Bayside is literally putting up a roadblock during arrival and dismissal times to make it safer for children traveling to and from class.

The School Leadership Team of P.S. 46 will begin to block access for non-residents on 218th Street between 64th and 67th avenues in an effort to reduce dangerous traffic congestion.

Cones will be placed on 218th Street between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. to only allow one-way traffic from 67th Avenue, and parent volunteers and P.S. 46 staff will be waiting during this hour to escort children from each car. Traffic will again be blocked off to non-residents from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., but parents will need to find parking in surrounding areas to walk to the school after student dismissal.

The street safety initiative is the first effort in P.S. 46’s Project Lifesaver, a collaboration from the school leadership team of staff and parents to make sure children stay safe.

“They didn’t want to wait for an accident,” said P.S. 46 Principal Stamo Karalazarides. “We wanted to be proactive and not reactive, and ensure the safety of our children.”

The 111th Precinct required the school to notify residents of their plan in order to legally block off the street to drivers. The proposal was well received by the community anticipating an alleviation of traffic, according to Karalazarides.

People living on the two-way street had regularly complained of P.S. 46Q parents blocking their entranceways and sometimes even parking inside private driveways while they wait for students to be dismissed.

According to Karalazarides, there are no additional steps planned for Project Lifesaver yet but the school would be open to expanding the initiative if other safety concerns arise.

“If this takes on a life of it’s own we’re open to that, because safety is our first priority,” Karalazarides said.