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CHAIR

DISTRICT OFFICE
456 5TH AVENUE, 3RD FLOOR
BROOKLYN, NY 11215
(718) 499-1090
FAX: (718) 499-1997
CITY HALL OFFICE
250 BROADWAY, SUITE 1751
NEW YORK, NY 10007
(212) 788-6969
FAX: (212) 788-8967
Lander@council.nyc.gov

RULES, PRIVILEGES AND ELECTIONS

COMMITTEES
LAND USE
STANDARDS AND ETHICS

THE COUNCIL OF
THE CITY OF NEW YORK

STATE AND FEDERAL LEGISLATION

BRAD LANDER
DEPUTY LEADER FOR POLICY
39TH DISTRICT, BROOKLYN

November 6, 2014
Commissioner Polly Trottenberg
New York City Department of Transportation
55 Water Street, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10041
President Lorraine Grillo
New York City School Construction Authority
30-30 Thomson Avenue
Long Island City, NY 11101
Re:

Community meeting on street safety plan for new school K437


(including safe routes to school for rezoned students)

Dear Commissioner Trottenberg and President Grillo:


I am writing to request a community meeting in the near future with the NYC
Department of Transportation (DOT) and the NYC School Construction Authority (SCA)
to discuss the street safety plan for the new school (K437) that the SCA is building at
Caton Avenue and East 7th Street, anticipated to open in September 2015. The street
safety plan must include not only changes to the immediate intersection (though those are
certainly necessary), but also safe routes to school for families who are being rezoned as
a result of the admission plan for the new school
Along with members of the Windsor Terrace and Kensington communities, I am very
glad that the new school building will relieve overcrowding in nearby PS 154, PS 130,
and PS 230. At the same time, I share their very real concerns about pedestrian safety at
the new school building and along the routes by which many children and families walk
each day.
Following many conversations with the District 15 Community Education Council, the
nearby school communities, neighborhood leaders, and my office, the DOE recently
announced a rezoning plan that will preserve diversity, expand pre-K to five sections,
include a new middle school, and promote genuine community collaboration.

Under this plan, PS 130 and K437 will together become a larger, split-sited school: preK students through second graders will go to the current PS 130 building, while third
through fifth graders will go the new K437 building. In addition, the new building will
house a new District 15 Middle School and a District 75 (special education) school. This
approach provides opportunities for shared support and student success across many
grades and educational needs. However, it also creates new travel routes, and new
pedestrian safety conditions for the students, parents, and teachers, who will be traveling
new routes including:

Significant new pedestrian traffic at and near the school itself, an already
dangerous intersection, along a stretch of Caton Avenue where speeding is alltoo-common.
New foot traffic between PS 130 and K437, along stretches of Ocean Parkway
and Caton Avenue that include dangerous conditions.
Windsor Terrace families currently zoned for PS 154, who will now walk to PS
130 and K437 along routes that include a number of unsafe intersections.
Kensington families current zoned for PS 230, who will now walk to PS 130 and
K437.
New foot traffic from the Fort Hamilton Parkway subway station to K437
(especially for middle school students who will be traveling alone from other
parts of District 15).

My office is aware that DOT is developing a plan to make safety improvements on the
streets adjacent to the new K437 building. That plan must include broader attention to
insuring safe routes to school for all students, families, and teachers. The school
communities and neighborhood residents are eager to view those improvements and
provide feedback in the near future. To assist with that process, my office has gathered
many of the specific concerns of residents:

Caton Ave and East 7th Street (and this stretch of Caton Avenue in general)
o The intersection where the school is located is a dangerous and unusual
one, with long cross distances and poor sightlines. Engineering changes
are needed to make it safer to cross.
o This stretch of Caton Avenue involves frequent speeding, as cars race
between McDonald Avenue, Ocean Parkway, and Coney Island Avenue.
o This stretch of Caton Avenue is a truck route, which creates dangerous
conditions for pedestrians. While we understand that Caton Avenue is a
segment of Route 27, we ask that you consider alternatives for this
segment, in light of the new school.

Ocean Parkway and Caton Avenue


o An intersection of particular concern for residents is Ocean Parkway and
Caton Avenue, east of the Caton Avenue bridge. This dangerous
intersection has vehicles (traveling eastbound on Caton Avenue) turning
left onto the Ocean Parkway service road for the entire pedestrian cycle,
regularly creating dangerous conflicts. For several years neighbors have
petitioned for DOT to make meaningful changes here. This intersection
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just one black from K437, and directly on the route between the subway,
PS 130, and K437 will now see significant new foot traffic. We ask you
to consider a left-turn ban, a leading pedestrian indicator, or a pedestrianonly cycle.

Terrace Place, Seeley Street, and Vanderbilt Street


o Families in Windsor Terrace, especially south/west of the Prospect
Expressway, are proposed to be rezoned from PS 154 to PS 130/K437.
This will result in new pedestrian routes for these families that include a
number of intersections that residents have already identified as unsafe.
With these greater walking distances, I specifically request a review of the
upper portion of the new zone (in the area bounded by Prospect Park
Southwest, Vanderbilt Street, McDonald Avenue, and 11th Avenue) and
the routes on approach to PS 130 and K 437 to create clearly identified
safe walking routes for students.
o This review should include the intersections of Terrace Place, Seeley
Street, and Vanderbilt Street with McDonald Avenue. The addition of
traffic lights or stop signs and cross walks on these three intersections
would decrease dramatically the speeding along the corridor.
o Associated with this review are the following intersections: 19th Street and
Terrace Place, 20th Street and Terrace Place, 19th Street and Seeley Street,
20th Street and Seeley Street, 19th Street and Vanderbilt Street, and 20th
Street and Vanderbilt Street. It is our request that traffic controls be
implemented to heighten safety in that area.

Fort Hamilton F/G Subway Crossing to PS 130


o We request that a traffic control (most likely a stop sign with a marked
pedestrian crossing) be considered across the curve of Ocean Parkway
from the Fort Hamilton F/G subway station to PS 130. Currently,
thousands of pedestrians each day are forced walk across the street (or in
the street), with no stop sign, signal, or warning to oncoming vehicles.

School Crossing Guards


o While the designation of crossing guards would fall under the DOEs and
72nd Precincts planning process, I want to highlight the need for new
crossing guards to serve K 437.
o These new guards must not come at the expense of the other schools under
the jurisdiction of the 72nd Precinct.

To supplement the school safety planning process, I am requesting that DOT present a
plan, along with the opportunity for recommendations to be considered, to the community
at a public meeting in the near future to allow for community feedback, revisions to the
plan, and implementation in advance of the anticipated opening in September 2015. At
that meeting, we would expect the DOT, the School Construction Authority and the 72nd
Precinct to present their plans for student safety. Given the time required to implement
engineering changes, it is important that the meeting take place early in 2015. I look
forward to a productive conversation.
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Thank you for your attention to this matter. Should you require any further information,
please contact Vicki Sell in Council Member Brad Landers office at 718-499-1090 or
vsell@council.nyc.gov.
Sincerely,

Brad Lander
New York City Council, District 39
cc:

Jeremy Laufer, Brooklyn Community Board 7


Carrie Marlin, New York City Department of Education
Captain Tommy Ng, 72nd Precinct, NYPD
Inspector Michael Deddo, 66th Precinct, NYPD
Maria Nunziata, Principal, PS 130
Eric Havlik, Principal, PS 154
Maria Della Ragione, Principal, PS 230
Windsor Terrace Safe Streets