Bayside’s P.S. 46 finds success with traffic safety initiative

P.s. 46 student council
THE COURIER/Photos by Alina Suriel

There won’t be any more morning road rage for parents at Bayside’s P.S. 46.

The School Leadership Team of P.S. 46 began restricting street access for non-residents on 218th Street between 64th and 67th avenues in an effort to reduce dangerous traffic congestion. Cones are placed between 7:30 and 8:30 a.m. to only allow one-way traffic from 67th Avenue, and the street is blocked on both sides from 1:45 to 2:45 p.m., and parents must find parking in surrounding areas and walk to the school after student dismissal.

On Tuesday, the second day of the school partially blocking street access for morning drop-off, not even one parent seemed to mind the potential inconveniences of the safety initiative.

Parents lined up patiently down the street as school staff, parent volunteers and student council members escorted children from their family vehicles into the school for early morning breakfast.

“This is what happens when the community gets together and makes a decision,” said P.S. 46 principal Stamo Karalazarides. “It’s nice to see that it’s a very collaborative effort.”

Everyone agreed that the new system was better than the previous one, with parents sometimes triple-parking in a row and the 111th Precinct regularly called to issue citations. Children no more than 10 years old would often have to navigate the traffic alone as their caretakers rushed to quickly find space for their cars.

“This is the best situation out of this whole ordeal because it was a nightmare coming to school,” said Linda Ray, who was dropping off her grandchildren. “They don’t even look, they just pull out. It was just chaotic.”

Jeremy Hilaire, a fourth-grader in the student council, took part in the safety initiative to reduce the risk of accidents and prevent younger children from running into the street as before.

“I’m helping out by causing less traffic so that kids will be safer,” said Hilaire.

Fifth-grader Emmi Lu, president of the student council, said that helping out with community safety was a fun way to set a good example for other children.

“You can help them shape into leaders and they can make a change in the world,” said Lu.