On Aug. 29, a broad coalition of state and local stakeholders, gathered to celebrate the unveiling of new school speed zone signs on the state-owned Boston Post Road in the vicinity of Mamaroneck High School, MHS, between the Mamaroneck Town Center and Richbell Road. The 20 mph speed zone has been sought by the community for a number of years and will be in effect on school days between the hours of 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.
New “school crossing ahead” signs have also been installed on the Boston Post Road in advance of MHS and Hommocks Middle School to alert motorists of school activity ahead as they approach the new reduced speed zone area. Working with the New York State Department of Transportation, DOT, Assemblyman Steve Otis, a Rye Democrat, Senator George Latimer, a Rye Democrat, and local officials developed the new plan to address school pedestrian safety concerns for both schools.
“The key to addressing long-standing pedestrian safety concerns around Mamaroneck High School was to bring together DOT officials, School Superintendent Bob Shaps, local officials, law enforcement and Mamaroneck’s Safe Routes to School advocates,” said Otis, who was instrumental in assembling the coalition and bringing the concerns of local safety advocates to the attention of state transportation officials. “Everyone worked diligently to achieve these much-needed improvements.”
“With the success of the Safe Routes to School, SRTS, program that was launched in 2007, pedestrian and bicycle activity on the Boston Post Road has increased dramatically over the past decade,” Latimer said. “This has highlighted the need to adopt traffic calming measures on this heavily traveled corridor.”
“On behalf of the district, I applaud this collaborative effort by Safe Routes to School, elected officials and the State Department of Transportation to designate this area as a reduced speed zone and help ensure a safe school environment,” said Shaps, who noted that a large percentage of Mamaroneck’s student body and staff travel along this stretch of Boston Post Road before, during and after the school day. “We look forward to notifying our families and staff of this significant change.”
“Since our community was introduced to the Safe Routes to School initiative in 2008, students, parents and teachers have a better understanding of the physical and social benefits of walking and cycling to school,” said Kim Larsen, Safe Routes program coordinator. “The number of students biking and walking to school has doubled in that time, and with hundreds of students on the Boston Post Road corridor every school day, we are thrilled to have this speed zone in place.”
In October 2016, Otis and Latimer convened a meeting with state DOT representatives and local stakeholders to explore several pedestrian safety options that could address the increasing safety concerns. After surveying the area, inspecting traffic signals and reviewing accident reports with a small working group, DOT representatives acknowledged that the increased number of students walking to school and bicycling on the sidewalks posed a significant safety issue.
On May 8, 2017, the village of Mamaroneck passed a resolution to support and guide DOT’s safety initiatives, and DOT agreed to establish a school speed zone in front of MHS. DOT will also permit the village to install pavement markings identifying the “school zone” on both approaches to MHS.
“It is our intention to install these pavement markings this fall to further enhance pedestrian safety as motorists approach the new school speed zone,” said village Mayor Norman Rosenblum, a Republican.