We have a safety issue — or many — and you can make a difference.

Here is a note from Joanna Smith, 6th grade parent. I know you are all just the people who can make your voices heard on these issues.

all best,
Donna

Dear Parents,

How bad are the traffic conditions around Brooklyn School of Inquiry? Sadly, the answer is…just terrible!

The Department of Transportation recently undertook a study to identify schools with the worst speeding problems, and Seth Low (BSI by default) ranked among the worst in the entire city:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/dot/downloads/pdf/2013-03-school-speeding.pdf

The good news is this qualifies us for a speed camera; bad news is there are only a few cameras and 600 qualifying schools, so they move them around and they are spread quite thin.

The Mayor’s Vision Zero initiative inspired the creation of this map that documents problem intersections. BSI’s immediate area has many dangerous ones with higher than average incidence of injury:

http://www.nyc.gov/html/visionzero/pages/dialogue/map.html

So, how do we work to improve street safety conditions around school? We know that it takes a combination of education, engineering, and enforcement.

On the education front, it is fantastic that DOT’s pedestrian educators already are making age-specific presentations to our kids to teach them to be savvy on the street. It’s an engaging curriculum that imparts a lot of life-saving information.

To move the enforcement and design/engineering issues forward, BSI parents need to get involved with political solutions.

DOT is already planning a longer-term traffic study, and hopefully soon making promised improvements to signage, markings, signal timing etc. To make sure they prioritize this, and look at larger capital improvements to our school-vicinity streets, we should reach out to our elected officials and express the urgency:

David Greenfield is the New York City Councilmember for BSI:
dgreenfield@council.nyc.gov
718-853-2704

Community Board 11’s district covers BSI:
Marnee Elias-Pavia, District Manager
melias-pavia@cb.nyc.gov
718-266-8800
The next full CB11 board meeting is on Tuesday, April 7th, The Bensonhurst Center, 1740 84th Street at 7:30 PM.

On the enforcement front, we can work with the NYPD’s 62nd Precinct to encourage more moving violation enforcement. Their summons numbers doubled from last year, but they are still only giving out an average of one speeding summons every other day. (If you stand on Stillwell, Avenue P, or Bay Parkway, you’ll see they could give out a great many more, not to mention Failure to Yield to Pedestrians, running red lights, and other dangerous behaviors.)

http://www.nyc.gov/html/nypd/downloads/pdf/traffic_data/062sum.pdf

It will be quite effective if several parents get together to attend the 62nd’s monthly Community Council meeting. The next one is April 21st, always the 3rd Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. You can also call the precinct (718-236-2611) and speak to Sgt. Chien or anyone else who works with Highways. Be sure to thank them for our extra crossing guard at lunchtime!

Finally, any time you notice speeding vehicles, a faded crosswalk, a reckless taxi driver, a large pothole, anything that could endanger our kids, please take a moment to submit it to the city via 311. Call, or use their app for some of the above complaints; it’s quite easy to use. City agencies and the NYPD really do look at these complaints over time, and use them to formulate policy and prioritize solutions.

Thanks for helping make the streets safer for everyone.

Best,
Joanna
(Jasper, 6-602)

School Calendar: Important new information on additional half days

Hello everyone,

We have been approved by the DOE for two additional staff development half days where the students will be dismissed at 11:30.  (Wingspan after school will begin immediately upon dismissal.)

The two days are Monday, April 27th and Monday, May 18th.

As I mentioned in the PTO meeting this month, the PTO voted and approved a 3 full day PD schedule for this year but the DOE would only approved 2 full days and 2 half days, hence, the change in schedule.

It’s spring, right?  So bundle up.

all best,

Donna

A school grows in Brooklyn

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