2008-12-19 / Letters

Sidewalk, Light And Crosswalk At Beach104/105 Freeway

Dear Editor,

We are writing to alert you to seriously dangerous traffic conditions that exist at the location of the Rockaway Freeway (the EL) between Beach 98 Street and Beach 108 Street, which is in close proximity to four public schools (Beach Channel High School, Channel View School For Research, PSMS 225Q, and MSHS 323Q.) We are asking for your support to call 311 to call attention to the following situations before someone is seriously injured, or worse: • Hundreds of children and adults

cross the freeway everyday to access their schools in the morning and mass transit at dismissal times. The elevated structure's pillars create blind spots for pedestrians and cars. There are no functional designated crosswalks between

Beach 102 Street and Beach

108 Street; • The sidewalks are narrow and

obstructed by poles, making them impassable by students who are then forced to walk in the street within double yellow lines (tiger stripes) with no barrier from traffic; There are no signs posted that indicate that students are crossing nor

that there are numerous schools

in the vicinity; • In the case of MSHS 323Q, the

closest traffic lights are 3-4 blocks ways, allowing cars to pick up

speed while passing by. There are

no posted speed limit signs; • The trestle itself is decaying and

concrete frequently falls from its rusting and exposed rebar onto the roadway below. One piece struck a teacher last year. Also, when the

train passes by there are often pebbles

raining down; • Drainpipes pour water onto the

roadway creating hazards for both motorists and pedestrians: flooding

in the warm weather and freezing

in the winter; • Access to the train station at Beach

105 Street north side is closed and

derelict.

The above problems are long standing. On February 2, 2008, a "Safety Summit" was held at the request of the School Leadership Team of MSHS 323Q. Representatives from the community board and local schools impacted as well as from the DOT, MTA, 100th Precinct and School Safety Division were invited with the intention of increasing communication and coordinating efforts as necessary between city agencies and our local elected officials in an effort to address the present and imminent policing, traffic and transportation safety issues related to Rockaway Freeway and its proximity to local schools, and to develop a plan to improve safety conditions. As a result of this meeting several other safety hazards have been addressed, but the above still remain, endangering our children and all community members on a daily basis. WE NEED YOUR HELP!

We need as many people to call 311 DAILY to complain about the above hazards and to insist on the following: • Reconsider the road configuration

under the Rockaway Freeway (EL), at least between Beach 84 Street and Beach 108 Street, providing sufficient curbs and raised sidewalks on each side of east and west bound traffic, including appropriate

fencing or barriers to discourage

crossing at non-crosswalk locations; • Install crosswalks and traffic

devices at both Beach 104 Street

and Beach 105 Street under the

EL; • Install signage indicating mandate

for slow traffic, with decreased

speed limits in this school zone; • Repair and widen sidewalks; • Repair train access at northern section

of Beach 105 Street Seaside stop of subway and replace fencing along sidewalk path toward operable southern entrance to Beach 105

Street stop of subway (S Shuttle/A

train); • Ensure there is a timely crossing

guard at both Beach 104 Street and Rockaway Freeway and at Beach 105 Street and Rockaway Freeway,

in the morning and in the afternoon;

• Reconsider the MTA bus routes

during a.m. arrival and p.m. dismissal times to provide school-side pick up and drop offs and/or extend the Q35 from its terminus at Beach 116 Street to Beach 104 Street to reduce the need to cross this dangerous strip of the Freeway. Extending the Q35 will also provide the additional benefit of bringing west-end residents to our limited

available shopping.

The Rockaway Community should know that our elected officials, specifically Assemblywoman Audrey Pfeffer, Councilman Joe Addabbo, and Democratic Leader Lew Simon, have all been extremely supportive and vocal in attempting to remedy these situations. We thank them for their efforts to facilitate solutions to these problems. Safety around our schools must be paramount! Please call 311 today. If we as a community combine our voices, something will get done!

SCHOOL LEADERSHIP TEAM

THE SCHOLARS' ACADEMY

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