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NYPD Calls for Improved Safety on Battery Place After Crossing Guard Hit

By Irene Plagianos | February 3, 2014 8:53am
 Parents and police are pushing for better traffic safety measures outside of I.S./P.S. 276.
Parents and police are pushing for better traffic safety measures outside of I.S./P.S. 276.
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DNAinfo/Julie Shapiro

BATTERY PARK CITY — A school crossing guard was struck by a passing cab as she stood on duty outside of Battery Park City’s P.S./I.S. 276 at an intersection that parents and police say is unsafe.

“I’m very concerned for the children’s safety,” 1st Precinct Commanding Officer Capt. Brendan Timoney told DNAinfo New York. “Something needs to be done.”

The 32-year-old crossing guard was struck by a cab at Battery Place and First Place, just outside the entrance to the elementary and middle school, at 8 a.m. on Jan. 29. The car's mirror hit her left hand, police said.

She was treated and released at New York-Presbyterian/Lower Manhattan Hospital.

Parents have long complained that cars and tour buses zip past the 55 Battery Place school, often after getting off of the West Side Highway. They have called for a stop sign or speed bump to be put in place.

At a 1st Precinct Community Council meeting last Thursday, Timoney told concerned residents that he considered the traffic situation outside of the school “unsafe” and he vowed to “continue to put pressure" on the Department of Transportation to fix the problem.

Timoney told DNAinfo that his traffic sergeant had conducted an analysis of the area, and strongly recommended that a stop sign, speed bump or rumble strips be added to slow traffic.

Timoney said his sergeant had spoken with an official from the Department of Transportation on Friday, after the crossing guard was hit, and that the agency agreed to further discuss increased traffic safety.

The DOT did not respond to a request for comment from DNAinfo New York.

Though Timoney told the precinct's community council that only four accidents have occurred over the past four years outside of the school, P.S. 276 has only been open in that location since 2010 and the traffic issue is a growing problem as the school draws more students each year, he said.

The K-8 school also houses a program for students with autism.

Concerned parents said they will continue to push for better traffic safety measures outside of the school.

"We're trying to be proactive now and protect the students," said Tammy Meltzer, who has three children at P.S. 276. "It's a safety hazard to not have a stop sign or a speed bump or some other way to slow traffic.

"It's terrible that we had our crossing guard hit. We don't want to have to wait until a major tragedy, until someone, maybe a child, is killed, for there to be needed change."

With reporting by Danielle Tcholakian