LOWER MANHATTAN — The city is slated to build speed bumps near three Lower Manhattan schools where parents and local officials have long voiced traffic safety concerns.
The bumps will be installed behind Battery Park City’s P.S./I.S. 276, on Little West Street, between First and Second places; in front of the Lower East Side's P.S. 2, at Pike and Rutgers streets; and in front of Chinatown's P.S. 124, on Division Street between Bowery and Market Street, the Department of Transportation said.
The DOT decided to add speed bumps near the three schools after the agency did a traffic analysis of the blocks, sparked by community concerns about the safety of children walking to school, a DOT spokesman said. The bumps are also part of Mayor Bill de Blasio's Vision Zero initiative, a plan meant to reduce traffic safety deaths.
“Following requests from the community, the agency reviewed the three locations in question and found the installation of speed humps feasible at each of them,” DOT spokesman Nicholas Mosquera said in an email. “These will be completed in the coming weeks as part of the agency’s goal of installing 250 speed humps this year, a key part of the Vision Zero initiative.”
Earlier this year, parents were alarmed when a crossing guard at P.S./I.S. 276 was struck by a cab while on duty outside of the 55 Battery Place school. The guard suffered an injury to her hand.
Just weeks later, the DOT installed a three-way stop sign at Battery Place and First Place, just outside the entrance of the school.
While several parents at P.S. 276 said they were happy with any new safety measures, including the new stop sign and speed bump, they added that more needs to be done.
“[The speed bump] is of course good for all the students and families traveling from all points east of the school and makes that commute a little bit safer,” said Matt Schneider, president of P.S. 276's PTA. “However, there are still many unsafe points in the walk from the Financial District that have yet to be addressed. “
The DOT could not place a speed bump directly in front of P.S. 276 on Battery Place because speed bumps cannot be installed along city bus routes, the agency said.
However, Mosquera said the DOT was still completing an analysis of other blocks around each of the schools and will “update the community when available.”
City Councilwoman Margaret Chin, who advocated for the speed bumps outside the three local schools, praised the DOT's plan.
"The safety of our community’s children is paramount,” Chin said in a statement. “These new speed humps are a great step forward in providing additional protection for students at these three schools, and I thank the Department of Transportation for approving their installation.”