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NYPD Failing to Keep Kids Safe From Traffic at Bronx School

2:45 PM EST on January 8, 2010

Bronx_Left_Turns_2.jpgThe frequently-ignored "One Way" sign at Briggs Avenue and East Moshulu Parkway. Image: NY1

A report from NY1's Susan Jhun today describes the dangerous conditions at an intersection right next to P.S. 8 in the Norwood neighborhood of the Bronx, where parents and students constantly contend with cars darting the wrong way down the block.

Here, motorists on Briggs Avenue make an illegal left turn onto a short stretch of East Moshulu Parkway, in order to quickly cut over to East 203rd Street. Even with parents complaining about the danger to their kids posed by unexpected wrong-way traffic, police haven't made the intersection safe. 

Moshulu Parkway is clearly marked as one-way, but according to parents, drivers make illegal lefts "hour after hour." The police, however, don't seem inclined to measure the problem and tackle it with the data-driven techniques they apply to violent crime. The underlying assumption that NYPD has employed so successfully with CompStat
is that you have to be able to count crime to fight it; right now, the
NYPD isn't doing much of either when it comes to law-breaking behavior
behind the wheel.

When NY1 called the NYPD, police said that 20 summonses had been issued in the last 60 days. The more important question is whether those tickets are actually reducing the risk to students and parents. So does the 52nd Precinct in the Bronx have a plan to systematically
improve safety at P.S. 8? What sort of resources would they need to
measure the problem and enforce the rules effectively? The precinct has
not responded to Streetsblog's calls.

The NYPD has trouble answering questions about street safety because police grade their traffic enforcement performance mainly by counting summonses. The actual rate of traffic violations, which can be measured, is one metric they have so far ignored.

The parents of P.S. 8 know exactly how big a problem it is when cars drive the wrong way down a one-way street in front of a school.
So should the police.

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