We delivered the following statement to the Board of Education as a public comment during their August 1, 2019 meeting.
When Americans talk about "school safety," it means "guns." Our District has installed new doors, hired guards and put students through anxiety inducing drills. The time and money spent is significant. As terrifying as this threat is, we have to admit, the likelihood of something happening is minuscule.
These efforts have distracted us from seeing and addressing the number one killer of school aged children: motor vehicles. (See table, right.)
There are two simple steps you can take that will dramatically improve safety on school grounds:
1) Morse School: Use the arrival procedure that was in place during the elevator construction. In this 2016 - 2017 period, people who drove kids to school parked on nearby streets and walked their kids to the door.
One improvement to this routine would be teachers' cars entering via the Washington St driveway during student arrival.
This excellent system was replaced in the 2018-19 school year, when the district let parents drive cars into the school driveway (see photo, left), which introduced several harms:
2) High School: On 12/7/18, a student using the crosswalk from the school's main door to the Korean Church was injured when a person driving didn't stop. On top of school traffic, the general public uses this school driveway as a shortcut from Broadway to Bedford Rd.
The solution is to place a permanent barrier in the driveway near the school's main door (see diagram, right). The barrier can be movable (for buses to get through) or fixed (for lower installation & maintenance costs).
This makes the Korean Church crosswalk car-free and permanently lowers overall vehicle volumes in the athletic field parking lot. This improves safety for students and people using the Old Croton Aqueduct.
(PDF of this document)