MMS team wins safety improvements for neighborhood

At its meeting on March 6, Community Board 7 approved several proposals for street safety presented by a group of MMS families led by Head of School Brenda Mizel and parent Lisa Sladkus.

The Board voted to:

  • Create new “no parking” zones at the intersections of West End Avenue and 85th Street and West End Avenue and 86th to create better visibility for pedestrians crossing West End
  • Provide “leading pedestrian intervals”  to give pedestrians time to begin crossing the street before traffic can turn into the crosswalk; this improvement will be made at Broadway and 85th (east-west), West End and 85th (east-west), and West End and 86th (east-west)
  • Increase the length of the walk signal at Broadway and 85th (east-west), West End Avenue and 85th (east-west), and West End Avenue and 86th (east-west)
  • Create loading zones for trucks on West End and Riverside Drive between 85th and 86th to prevent double parking in the neighborhood

The city’s Department of Transportation will implement these changes.

Parents involved in the effort include Sharon Schuur, Shephali Gupte, Kamakshi Rao, and fourth grader Chinmay Deshpande, who read a statement to the board. His statement read in part:

I usually walk to school on my own, and I have to cross West End at 85th street. I cannot see cars approaching, because of the cars parked on the curb. Therefore, I think that these cars make it harder to cross safely. So, it will be good if these cars are removed. I also think that the pedestrian lights should be longer. Whenever I go to school, I need to start walking as soon as the light changes, otherwise I have to run. Therefore, if the lights become longer the crossing will be safer. Overall, if the curb parking spots are eliminated and the lights are made longer, the crossings will be a much safer place.

As part of the school’s effort to improve safety in the neighborhood, Lisa and Brenda also are forming an outreach committee so that MMS can improve safety in front of the school, and address crowding on the sidewalk in front of the building before and after school.