Elmhurst parent group talks pedestrian and traffic safety with DOT representatives

DOT provided 10 booster seats as raffle prizes for Elmhurst parents. (Photo provided by P.S./I.S. 102Q Bayview’s Parent Association)

The P.S./I.S. 102Q Bayview Parent Association recently partnered with the NYC Department of Transportation to provide parents and guardians with an informative virtual workshop on pedestrian and traffic safety. 

At the parent association’s monthly meeting last week, a DOT representative came to educate the parents and provide 10 booster seats as raffle prizes. The presentation went over how to stay safe as a pedestrian, passenger and cyclist.

Each year, DOT serves over 500 schools by working with students and parents as part of the Vision Zero initiative to discuss safety. They also work with older youth around issues of distracted and impaired driving as well. According to a DOT representative, they work with school communities closely to address their safety concerns and connect them with the school safety engineering department at DOT. 

“Education is a cornerstone of Vision Zero, along with our engineering and enforcement efforts,” said spokesperson Vincent Barone. “We provide outreach to hundreds of schools each year and we’re happy to discuss pedestrian, bicycle and child passenger safety with P.S./I.S. 102Q Parent Association.”

The parent association has often advocated for safer school crossings, particularly at Van Horn Street and 55th Road. Ferdie Lee, the president of the group, said that they are in need of a stop sign and crosswalks to allow their children to walk to and from school safely. 

“I felt that the pedestrian safety was most relevant as we live in New York City, where walking is commonplace,” Lee said. “We have students who walk to school. It’s easy to assume everyone knows how to cross the street, but it’s just not the case. Also, often children and adults are distracted by their electronic devices.”

Lee said that she has often felt unsafe walking the crosswalks in her community. 

“My son and I were walking home and the distracted driver was turning left towards the crosswalk,” Lee said. “It was not until another driver honked to get his attention and he was an arm’s reach away from us that he stopped.”

In other areas of Queens like Glendale, parents and community members have rallied to bring attention to needed safety measures at crosswalks. Just a couple of weeks ago, nearly 300 residents gathered at Stanhope Street and Fairview Avenue to call for visible crosswalks and pedestrian signals. According to the DOT, they are working to bring new safety measures to the area.