Flushing lawmakers call for more traffic calming measures around local school

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After a city agency ruled that a busy intersection near a Flushing school did not merit additional safety controls, three local lawmakers are calling for another look.

The intersection of 58th Road and 136th Street near the main entrance of P.S. 120 poses a danger to the more than 1,000 students that attend the educational institution, according to parents and administrators. Traffic volume, speeding and a lack of traffic calming measures are among top concerns.

In March 2017, Assemblywoman Nily Rozic sent two letters penned by parents and herself to the city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) requesting new safety measures at the site. In December, the agency told Rozic the intersection did not merit any new additions.

Now, Rozic, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Councilman Peter Koo are urging DOT to revisit the community’s requests.

“The P.S. 120 Queens community witnesses close calls from reckless drivers in front of their school,” Rozic said. “Administrators, teachers and parents worry daily that a collision will occur and the current speed limit sign has not proven effective enough to protect their children.”

Michael Pineda, a parent of two young students, called the agency’s findings disappointing.

“This intersection, although deemed safe in the latest traffic study, is a traffic hazard during drop off and dismissal,” Pineda said. “I drop off my children and pick them up daily and I have seen many near calls where students are almost clipped or ran over by speeding vehicles heading eastbound on 58th Road.”

Drivers heading north on 136th also frequently fail to heed the stop sign, the parent added. With the school’s proximity to the Long Island Expressway, cars often travel on the side streets at high speeds, putting pedestrians in danger.

According to Stavisky, three people have been injured in front of the school over the last two years.

“I urge the DOT to take another look at traffic surrounding PS 120. The school educates over 1,000 children and this creates high traffic flow throughout the day,” she said.

According to a DOT spokesperson, the agency investigated the intersection of 58th Road and 136th Street last year and denied a study request for an all-way stop in August. The agency recently extended the existing 15-mph School Slow Zone on 58th Road from 134th Street to 138th Street and installed a 20-mph School Slow Zone on 58th Avenue between 138th Street and 134th Street.

There is also an open speed hump request for 136th Street between 58th Avenue and 58th Road, the spokesperson added. Results for the study are expected in the spring.

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