Tuckahoe Schools Set To Improve Student Safety On The Street

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There is congestion on Siwanoy when students need to get picked up in Eastchester.
There is congestion on Siwanoy when students need to get picked up in Eastchester.
Parents need to park and walk to get their children after school.
Parents need to park and walk to get their children after school.

EASTCHESTER, N.Y. – The Tuckahoe School District is taking steps to purchase the land from the town of Eastchester to create a long-term solution after installing temporary road barriers on Siwanoy Boulevard to control traffic around William E. Cottle Elementary.

The district said it has concerns regarding the safety of students and residents near the loading zones at Cottle and the Middle/High School, which get especially congested with parents, students, buses and community traffic around arrival and dismissal times.

The Tuckahoe Board of Education commissioned Kathleen Furneaux, a senior consultant at the Pupil Transportation Safety Institute in Syracuse, to analyze the district’s options to better protect students and residents

The traffic problem is compounded because the district has an inefficient number of parking spaces for employees and students. According to Furneaux’s report, there are two parking lots for employees, which can’t accommodate the entire staff.

Despite an arrangement with the neighboring Siwanoy Country Club that created an additional 15 spaces, the overflow winds up parked in the narrow streets between Cottle and the Middle/High School.

“The school buildings are nestled tightly into a neighborhood that utilizes almost every square foot of space,” she concluded. “Observations and input from the residential community identify safety and access concerns, which stem from illegal parking and standing occurring in front of homes.”

After meeting with the district’s Traffic Safety Committee and the Board of Education, Superintendent Barbara Nuzzi entered into negotiations to secure the deeded rights to the portion of Siwanoy Boulevard between Cottle Field and the school.

If the district is able to secure the rights, they have determined that a swinging gate, similar to the one in the rear of the Eastchester High School, would be the best option.

“If the district does secure the rights to Siwanoy Boulevard, we envision that we will place swinging gate barriers in place of the ropes that had been in use for many years,” Nuzzi said. “We also envision limiting access during school hours with the gate, and opening it after school hours.”

From here, the district will hire an independent engineer to determine the viability of the area to accommodate the proposal.

Keep following Daily Voice for updates on the project.

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