Safe Streets for Morse School

(fifth draft)
by Daniel Convissor
February 5, 2016

Inappropriate behavior by several people driving kids to Winfield L. Morse School are causing safety and congestion problems on Pocantico St by the school. This road has two narrow travel lanes, plus one parking lane on the west side (along the Van Tassell Apartments).

The main place people want to park on Pocantico St is the loading zone next to the mid-block crosswalk. Getting in and out of these spots entails driving through the crosswalk. Some people even park in the crosswalk. Occasionally, there are regular parking spots available too. Traffic gets snarled by people waiting for, and backing into, spots. Some people stop or double park in the moving lanes, completely blocking Pocantico St in one direction. Some park in the handicapped spot that's next to the loading zone. A few even drive onto the sidewalk!

Below are means to improve safety and traffic flow.

Since the first draft of this document, some enhancements were implemented on February 3. Cones were placed in the loading zone on each side of the crosswalk. Another cone was placed between the two moving lanes, just next to the crosswalk. Behavior of people driving has noticeably improved. This indicates we'll have success with the suggestions put forth in the "Engineering" section, below.

Police Presence

The level of selfish and dangerous behavior calls for an officer to be posted on Pocantico St by the school during the arrival and dismissal times. The officers need to shoo away anyone stopping on, or parking inappropriately along, Pocantico St.

The critical mornings are Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday. No parking rules for street cleaning kick in at 8am on Monday and Thursday, so many parking spaces are already open during arrivals those mornings.

While one would think the following goes without saying, given what happened when officers were on site for the first couple days of school this fall, it needs to be said. The officers should either walk to the school, park on Beekman, or park in an out of the way spot in the school parking lot.

Use Parking on Beekman and Washington

In the mornings, ample parking is available on Beekman Ave and on North Washington St. But some small changes to alternate side times are needed to legalize it.

Existing Parking Regulations

Action Items

Engineering at the Mid-Block Crosswalk

Continue Off-Campus Drop Off & Pick Up

In prior years, parents could drive into Morse's parking lot and drop off or pick up their kids through the cafeteria. This had major problems, leading to decreased safety and increased stress.

While the current situation needs the improvements discussed above, it's way better than the old situation.

More Sleepy Hollow information is available on the web, @DanielConvissor and #SleepyHollowNY