Parents Worry About Absence of Crossing Guards By School Next To Expressway Off-ramp

WINDSOR TERRACE – When the school year started back in September, one crossing guard never appeared. Two weeks ago  – the other one disappeared, with no explanation, leaving parents worried about the safety of their kids getting to and from school.

The two intersections are located by the former Bishop Ford High School, which currently houses K280, the PreK center for PS10, as well as two middle schools, MS 442 and the Brooklyn Urban Garden School (BUGS), a charter school.

There are almost 450 three and four-year-old students using these two intersections to get to PreK. There are more than 150 middle school students using the same two intersections to get to MS 442 and BUGS.

K280 preschool building, with strollers parked outside for the 3 and 4 year old students.

K280, also known as the School of Journeys, relied on these crossing guards when they left the school during the day to go on their daily learning enrichment journey trips.

“When picking up or dropping off our three and four year old children to and from PreK, it is reassuring to have a NYPD School Crossing Guard step, often literally, between pedestrians and oncoming traffic to ensure the safety of our young children”, said Melissa Currelley, a neighbor whose child attends K280.

“Most of the middle schoolers, who share school space with K280 PreK, travel to and from school without adult supervision. Given smart phones and usage of headphones, these students need guidance from School Crossing Guards as much, if not more, than the younger grades. It’s unacceptable that we have no crossing guards at either busy intersection by the school!” she added.

If you are not familiar with this area, the Exit 4 on the Prospect Park Expressway has a ramp for drivers to exit on 10th Avenue.
Prospect Expressway Exit 4 off-ramp.
The offramp directs cars as well as trucks off expressway onto McDonald avenue. There is a stop light on 10th Avenue and 19th Street, the trucks then turn right and zigzag the block of 10th avenue to get to McDonald Avenue which starts at 20th Street.
Aerial photo of the intersections via Google Maps.
The 10th avenue pedestrian overpass that crosses the expressway also meets the busy intersection.
Corner of 10th Avenue and 19th Street, where Prospect Expressway off-ramp meets 10th Avenue and pedestrian overpass in Windsor Terrace.
The other corner that is missing a crossing guard, 19th Street at Prospect Park West, is where public busses tend to disembark middle schoolers heading for classes at the school:
Corner of 19th Street and Prospect Park West in Windsor Terrace.

“I am increasingly concerned for the safety of my kids as they navigate to and from school since the crossing guards have disappeared,” texted Erin Walker, whose kids make the commute to the school from East Flatbush on their own. With two middle schools and a pre-k housed in one building located between two busy intersections with lots of heavy trucks and multiple public bus routes, the crossing guards are essential to the safety of kids as well as parents. ”

We reached out repeatedly this week to Carlos Menchaca’s office, in whose district the school is located, as well as the NYPD, however, are yet to hear back as to why there are no crossing guards, when they will be re-instituted, and why such busy intersections would not have other interim safety measures in place should they be in the process of filling the crossing guard positions.

UPDATE: We have received word from Council Member Menchaca’s office that he and “his staff have been working over the last weeks with the 72nd Precinct and other parties to sort out the numbers and allocation of crossing guards throughout the district. He has verified the concerns shared by parents and educators and is seeking solutions that are sustainable. The zone around the Bishop Ford site does present the traffic management issues you cited with irregular intersections, parkway ramps and multiple schools in close proximity. Council Member Menchaca maintains that the number of crossing guards should increase overall and that guards should be posted consistently anywhere their presence contributes to safety.”

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Liena Zagare

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  1. A uniformed NYPD officer was directing traffic at Bishop Ford this morning, and I overheard some school administrators talking about the crossing guards, so somebody must have gotten the message. That’s a bizarre intersection, and it absolutely requires at least one guard.

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