New School Set To Open In Fall – No Safe Way To Get There

P.S./I.S 338, the brand new school on Coney Island Ave in Kensington is set to open in September, but there’s one major problem: there seems to be no plan to get students there safely.

Photo: Purcell Architects

The school that will serve almost 750 elementary and middle school children is located at 510 Coney Island Avenue between Hinckley and Turner places, on the western side of the avenue.

Its location is surrounded by Auto Body shops, gas station, drive-through fast food restaurant, and a large car wash. Coney Island Avenue itself is a local truck route, which is very busy during morning and evening commutes.

From Hinkley & Coney Island Avenue looking towards Turner Place. (Photo by Liena Zagare/BKLYNER)

Sidewalks along this stretch of Coney are a challenge to navigate, and have been that way for years:

Coney Island Avenue just North of Hinckley Place (Photo by Liena Zagare/BKLYNER)

Lack of crosswalks with light signals is likely to make getting to school and back difficult and  potentially dangerous for the 742 elementary and middle school students about to occupy the building.

Intersection of Hinckley Place and Coney Island Avenue (Photo by Liena Zagare/BKLYNER)

While serving District 22 kids, the school is physically located on the actual boundary with District 20 – District 22 is to the east of Coney Island Avenue, meaning most children will have to cross Coney Island Avenue to get to school.

Right now, the only options with crosswalks are as follows – cross Coney Island Avenue at Beverley and walk past Shell gas station and KFC fast food drive through, and cross Turner place to get to school.  Or – cross Coney Island Avenue at Church Avenue, and pass by Holliwood Car wash, and auto body shops to get to Hinckley Place.

We reached out to the Department of Transportation multiple times to ask: are there going to be crosswalks with traffic lights installed by the school on Coney Island Avenue by the time school starts, yet the best we got was “DOT is investigating the feasibility of safety measures in the area,” said a DOT spokesperson.

Here’s to hoping that by the time school starts there is a safer route to school for children residing in District 22.

Intersection of Turner Place and Coney Island Avenue (Photo by Liena Zagare/BKLYNER)

Zainab Iqbal contributed reporting to this story. 

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Liena Zagare

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  1. Oh wow, people are just recognizing this is a truck route and busy during rush hours?? Tell that to the police station just a block up the street and who for over a decade have turned a blind eye to the carwash taking up not just the parking lane but pulling right into what should be a second lane of traffic and just parking their cars. Therefore bottlenecking this “busy truck route” you have just discovered -making it a one lane street, even during rush hours.
    I guess all the free car washes the officers get might finally seem not like such a good trade-off when god forbid the first child is hit by a car because they don’t do their job.
    It’s a sad case when they close their eyes to years of residents complaints about this and wait til it results in that and then say someone didn’t warn them. Lets not talk about how with all the buildings going up along there making it a residential area, you have to now all of a sudden convince the business owners that they really aren’t supposed to be parking on the sidewalks??? Where is the zoning that even allows certain types of businesses to open where they clearly don’t have enough space to do the business they are in. Everyone takes action after the fact. Once again.

  2. How much money are we losing in tickets, when there are 100’s of cars parked on the sidewalk, yet I get a ticket, cause a candy wrapper blew onto my sidewalk??
    You tell me why these businesses do this without hesitation and the police do nothing, located 1 block away passing in their cruisers without a care in the world past these situations 100’s of times a day.

  3. This school was poorly planned and located from the get-go. Most likely the plan will include inconveniencing the heck out of the surrounding neighborhood west of Coney Island Avenue. You know, the neighborhood that is located where the school is, but doesn’t even get the benefit of allowing kids to go to that school?

  4. I’m also concerned with the fact that there are already teachers trying to buy parking spaces in the neighborhood because there was apparently no provision made for them to have parking at the school. Living a block away from this site, where there is already a problem with car repair shops and an Uber base taking up all the parking on the block, I imagine having teachers jockying for space during weekdays is going to take it over the edge to madness.

  5. Why oh why was there no traffic plans drawn up for the children waaaay in advance?? I am so over this neighborhood throwing buildings up with no regard to any kind of design or structure….whatever!!!! I guess we’ll have yet again nowhere to park!

  6. I live 2-24 Hinckley Pl (A.K.A–24 hinckley Pl—A.K.A–2 Hinckley Pl) YEP that’s how long I’ve lived here. long enough to know that the address of my building has changed many times over the decades. The building itself is pre-war and boy has it seen alot. One of my neighbors is an original “Miss Subway” now a lonely hoarder but at one time she was a celebrity of the building. The “super” (even though the building has never actually had one) remembers how vagabond druggies and used to shoot up and sleep inside the buildings’ grand foyer entrance (before my time here of course). Now we actually have a lock for the main doors(that people break their keys in constantly). The building now is mostly made up of eastern block folks-fresh off the boat, most of them practice muslim in some respects. everyone keeps to themselves. though we are the only building in a 4 block radius where we have a hoard of children playing on/in the front entrance inside and out. for the life of me i don’t know why they feel they need to play inside the building entrance or right in front of the doors. it’s not like prospect south isn’t a 10 min walk. ooo hint* hint* they must not want to cross over Church or Coney Island (because it’s dangerous). The children playing all day in front of 2-24 Hinckley has actually been a nuisance to everyone who tries to come into the building. plus their basketballs and razor scooters hit cars they run into the street. Their parents sit outside with them and turn a blind eye when passer byers have to walk through a playground of children, just to go into the building. ANYWAY. So in some one’s reality they may think this building (neighborhood) has gotten better but the fact is it’s just going to get WORSE. I’ve personally seen the change. I can see it all happening from my window. BEFORE the school was even conceived “21 hinckley” was the last block of “Beverley Squares” what was there prior was a beautifully decaying victorian home-abandoned and graffitied, but with a loot of land property, a front/back and side yard-unseen these days in Brooklyn. The yard became overgrown and was being used as a dump for everyone’s unwanted anythings. Then one day I saw a bunch of white hard hat wearing folks –(the hard hats were actually white) come to survey the inside and outside of the house even the overgrown yards and parking lot surrounding the retired home. Then a day later? the house caught on fire. Yes, it had caught on fire before -as homeless would stay there. But this time it seemed real fishy as the white hard hat crew hard just been there less than 24hrs prior. Now we watched the house burn and no one seemed in a rush to put the fire out. This fire unlike all the others, did a tremendous amount of damage to the house. Then the land was cleared rapidly. Then we saw construction workers waiting for us to leave in the morning to get our parking spaces. Putting up barriers taking away half of Hinckley’s street parking. Then we found out it was a school being built and everyone was literally– WTF a SCHOOL? same questions everyone had-where are the buses going to pull in? where were residents going to park since the school is taking out street curbs– one side of of both HINCKLEY, TURNNER and Coney Island. Then the construction workers starting coming every single day for the past year and were eating lunch and taking breaks on our steps to our building. I think they got enough complaints about that so they stopped or are doing it on Turnner Now. Then the gaping hole that had been abandoned for years on the other side of Hinckley and Coney Island (closer to Stratford) was too beginning to get filled, with its own lay of bricks and it’s own crew of construction workers. Literally two mega buildings (school and tenement style building) going up at the same exact time on one block. In between all of these lays Coney Island which lays between two of the busiest streets: Church and Beverly, via Prospect Expressway. great timing city. I could barely cut across) cross over Coney Island from Hinckley before all of this happenings. as there was never a crosswalk on Turnner or Hinckley. It’s a free for all for those trying to make the Beverly or Church lights, you take your chance car or pedestrian, it does not matter. There is always that “chance.” In rush hour no one will let you cross mid Coney Island. This by far has to be one of the poorest design planning for a school—maybe in history considering the history of these intersections. Children WILL GET HURT. AND ALL OF HINCKLEY AND TURNER RESIDENCES WILL FEEL THE INTENSITY OF BEING SQUEEZED OUT. and “your parking space” bye! bye! but since the erection of all this construction, we have all been dying to know how this will all end up. But. I realized my time in Kensington has come to an end, so hopefully I’ll just be reading this blog (and not living it) for the gossip on any trauma or drama when the city swings open the doors to all those 700+wonderful children. Let’s give it up for me and my one less car on Hinckley. You’re welcome!

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