Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis (R,C,I,Ref – East Shore) and Assemblyman Ron Castorina (R,C,I,Ref – South Shore) hosted a press conference at Greencroft Playground in Bay Terrace today to highlight City Hall’s failure to protect schoolchildren from speeding vehicles with the most basic tool: the stop sign.  The two lawmakers say the city should place “all-way” stop signs at intersections near certain schools and playgrounds to protect pedestrians.

Greencroft Playground lies at the intersection of Redgrave Avenue and Greencroft Avenue, adjacent to PS 53, a kindergarten through 5th-grade elementary school.  Closest to the intersection is a jungle gym and slide, just a block from Hylan Boulevard, the borough’s busiest thoroughfare.  The property also contains a baseball field, basketball courts, a second jungle gym, and other amenities for children and families.

Stop signs exist on Greencroft Avenue but not on Redgrave Avenue, which runs from Hylan Boulevard to the school and experiences faster and more frequent traffic.  Additionally, there are no stop signs on Durant Avenue at Ainsworth Avenue in front of the school. The pair also pointed to lack of “all-way” stop signs at neighboring school I.S.24 and vegetation growth along Hylan Boulevard that cause pedestrians to walk inthe middle of one of Staten Island’s busiests streets to access bus stops.

“If Mayor de Blasio is truly concerned about pedestrian safety he would address situations like this.  I attended PS 53 as a child and I spent a lot of time walking down these sidewalks, crossing these streets, and playing in Greencroft Playground, and the situation has become increasingly dangerous with more cars on our streets than ever.  A stop sign is such a simple solution.” said Malliotakis.  “And, just up the street on Hylan Boulevard, pedestrians are unable to walk on the sidewalk because the city fails to maintain vegetation overgrowth. You say ‘Vision Zero’ but here you have a situation where you are forced to walk on one of Staten Island’s major artieries to get to your bus stop.”

“Unfortunately, the speeding problem on Staten Island has only gotten worse.  Drivers far too frequently exceed the speed limit by over ten or fifteen miles per hour.  The speed camera program has not deterred speeding on our Island. It has however generated revenue for the City of New York.  If we truly want to ensure the safety of our children around the schools which they spend most of their time, we need all-way stop signs.  We need to stop pretending that this speed camera program is here for safety and start implementing measures that will make a difference,” said Assemblyman Castorina.