The roads around a Ridgewood public school will soon become a lot safer for not only the students, parents, and faculty of the elementary school, but for all pedestrians and drivers in the area thanks to a “Safe Routes to School” project.
P.S. 239 (the Police Officer Ramon Suarez School), which is located at 1715 Weirfield St., is slated to be a part of the NYC Department of Transportation’s (DOT) second round of Safe Routes to School Program projects which creates comprehensive street safety improvements around public and private schools.
Work in conjunction with Safe Routes to School projects often include curb extensions, pedestrian ramps, pavement markings, and in some cases fire alarm facilities, improved street lighting, traffic signal work, and possibly water main and sewer work.
According to Gary Giordano, district manager of Community Board 5 (CB 5), DOT will be coming to work on several streets near P.S. 239.
Work is planned to take place at Clemens Triangle, located at the intersection of Myrtle Avenue, Cypress Avenue and Cornelia Street; on the southwest corner of Catalpa and Myrtle avenues; the intersection at Cypress Avenue and Hancock Street; and at the intersection of Weirfield Street and Myrtle Avenue, Giordano said.
A DOT spokesperson confirmed the plans to address these locations.
“DOT will be enlarging the triangle at Myrtle Avenue/Cypress Avenue, and Cornelia Street, adding a full curb extension on the southeast corner of Catalpa Avenue and Seneca Avenue, as well as enlarging the west end of the triangle at the Catalpa Ave and Myrtle Ave intersection,” the spokesperson told QNS in an email. “We will be adding a half curb extension on the southeast corner of Myrtle Avenue and Weirfield Street, and on the northeast corner of Hancock Street and Cypress Ave. Pedestrian ramps at each location will also be updated wherever necessary/possible.”
Giordano noted that projects are expected to include extending sidewalks, curb bump outs and extensions, and new pedestrian ramps.
“The area at and around P.S. 239 is heavily trafficked. Too many drivers are not giving pedestrians the right of way. It’s in a congested portion near the Myrtle Avenue commercial corridor and we look forward to this project to safeguard school children senior citizens and other pedestrians,” Giordano said. “We’ve had these projects done at several other schools in the CB 5 area and from what I have seen and what I know, it has made conditions safer. There is less crossing distance for pedestrians, so that makes it safer for them, and drivers overwhelmingly slow down because the corners sidewalks are extended for pedestrians in what we call a neckdown, it reduces the width of the roadway at that point. So I am very much for protecting pedestrians and the rights of pedestrians, and giving respect to pedestrians.”