Local leaders are celebrating the arrival of safety measures around a Flushing school.
The city’s Department of Transportation (DOT) converted 159th Street and 160th Street, near P.S. 163, into one-way venues on July 17. The change follows years of advocacy from school and civic leaders, according to local elected officials.
The school is located in the Queensboro Hill section of the neighborhood on 59th Avenue; more than 600 students in pre-K through fifth grade attend the school each year.
Community members and school leaders with concerns about traffic conditions in the area contacted Assemblywoman Nily Rozic, state Senator Toby Ann Stavisky and Councilman Peter Koo, who asked DOT to do a study. The city agency then determined that the school was eligible for street conversions.
Nicole Garcia, DOT Queens Borough Commissioner, said the changes will “simplify vehicular movements around the school and make pedestrian crossings safer and more predictable.”
School principal Francine Marsaggi welcomed the changes, which she said will allow for safer pick-up and drop-off times at the school.
“I am thrilled that the street changes surrounding my building are taking effect and will be in place before the start of the school year,” school principal Francine Marsaggi said. “This is a long time coming and will help ease the dangerous traffic conditions that our community contends with on a daily basis.”
“The P.S. 163 Flushing Heights community has gone for far too long without additional measures to make streets safer for local families and children,” Rozic said. “I am glad that the City Department of Transportation has implemented these changes and am confident that they will significantly ease congestion in the Queensboro Hill area.”