2003-12-05 / Front Page

CBB Sign Now Warns: School’s Out, Slow Down!

by Brian Magoolaghan
CBB Sign Now Warns: School’s Out, Slow Down!

CBB Sign Now Warns: School’s Out, Slow Down!


Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, left, and Cross Bay Bridge GM John Ryder, show BCHS Principal Dr. David Morris, right, the MTA’s message board computer station.Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, left, and Cross Bay Bridge GM John Ryder, show BCHS Principal Dr. David Morris, right, the MTA’s message board computer station.

by Brian Magoolaghan

The ten-year-old sign that hangs over the Rockaway-bound Cross Bay Bridge toll lanes has a new message for drivers: School Dismissal, Drive Carefully.

At first the message was scheduled to flash from 2-3 p.m. on schooldays, according to Cross Bay Bridge General Manager John P. Ryder. But at the recommendation of Beach Channel High School Principal Dr. David Morris and Assemblywoman Audrey Pheffer, the message will also be flashed in the morning, he said. Morris recommended reminding drivers to give students a brake from 7-9 a.m. and from 1-3 p.m. – Ryder said that would be no problem.

Ryder showed the computer that allows the sign’s message to be changed to Morris, Pheffer, and 100 Precinct Commanding Officer Paul Piekarski at a brief meeting on Monday. But the meeting quickly turned into a student safety powwow.

"This is a coordinated effort to make the school crossing safer," Ryder said.

Pheffer and Morris urged Ryder to put up a school crossing sign at the end of the off ramp – so that fast moving motorists traveling west on Beach Channel Drive slow down. Ryder said he would do that as well.

The group also talked about erecting a waist-high fence that would run along the median on Beach Channel Drive forcing students on foot to cross at intersections with traffic lights.

Pheffer indicated that the fence will be shorter than six feet tall but "higher than the ones on Queens Boulevard." She said she is working to secure the federal funding that is needed to complete the plan, but that it won’t be done for at least several more months.

Police said a vehicle traveling east on Beach Channel Drive struck a teenage BCHS student very close to the school last Tuesday. The girl received minor injuries, and was taken to a Peninsula General Hospital, they said.


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