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The “Wild West” of the HSAS Crosswalk

Theodore Cacy, Grade 10, Staff Writer

 

In 2023 alone, there were five crashes on Goulden Avenue near the High School of American Studies (HSAS). These crashes have led to two cyclists and two pedestrians getting injured. The cause of these crashes and injuries is unknown. Common Sense investigates.


All 400 students at HSAS have to cross Goulden Avenue at least once every day, whether to go to lunch or to classes on the Lehman College campus. During these crossings, many students have noticed instances of people driving recklessly. From speeding to running the red light in front of the school, the street is ridden with rash drivers.


“It’s hard to see cars coming around the curve, so you have to look to see that there’s no cars coming,” Jack McCurry(‘25) said about the crosswalk on Bedford Park Boulevard near HSAS. “Some of those cars are going 30 miles per hour around the curves.” Students like Jack may be right to be concerned.


In 2023, three of the five crashes near HSAS occurred at the intersection with Bedford Park Boulevard, injuring three people. In New York City, the speed limit on most roads is 25 miles per hour, so 30 miles per hour is too fast for cars to be going around a curve, especially with multiple schools nearby.


Mr. Iurato, a teacher at HSAS, talked with his class last year about the dangers of people disregarding traffic rules near the school. “People disregarding the red light, people going around traffic to blow through the red light, it’s the Wild West out there,” Mr. Iurato told his class.


“Especially in the morning, there’s a lot of kids getting off the buses, people ignore the buses, it’s an accident waiting to happen,” he added.


Many students and teachers at HSAS share Mr. Iurato’s view on this issue. Madison Rose (‘26) takes the bus every day to school. “I feel very unsafe getting off the bus. There are very aggressive drivers and I’m still a little bit tired when I get off the bus.” When asked what could be done to make her feel safer, Madison responded, “I would feel much safer if cars drove less aggressively.”


Mr. Iurato had a few suggestions about what can be done to solve this problem. “We should try to reach out to whoever is responsible in order to maybe put up a speed bump there or maybe post a red light camera,” he said. A red light camera or a speed bump could reduce the amount of traffic violations near HSAS. If people have an incentive to drive more safely, it is more likely that they will.


“Maybe we want to reach out to the local Congressperson,” Mr. Iurato said. “You should start with a survey and a petition to try to do something to make that stoplight safer.”


Petitioning our Congressperson or City Council Representative would be a way to get this issue in front of someone who can make a difference. HSAS sits in New York’s 13th Congressional District, which is represented by Adriano Espaillat. It is also part of the New York City Council District 11, represented by Eric Dinowitz, who is also on the City Council Committee on Education. It may be up to HSAS students to call their attention to the matter that concerns the students’ safety.


Students Crossing the Street in Front of HSAS

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