Safe School Crossing

- ELMIRA, N.Y. (18-NEWS) – Road construction on Church Street aims to create safer streets for pedestrian crossing in a school zone.

Construction foreman Jeremy Hawn who is working on this project believes the addition of a raised pedestrian island will be beneficial to the kids using it come September.

"Before this, the pedestrians would cross, this four lanes of traffic and the only safe zone for kids to stop in the middle of the street would be on the double yellow lines so this is going to allow space if they can't make it all the way across the street."

The City of Elmira Public Works Department applied for and accepted a New York State Grant to make this road a less dangerous place. City engineer, Craig Southard says the city was pleased to receive the grant.

This part of the project was $217,000 for this, eighty percent of that is federal aid then we get fifteen percent state match so it's a five percent local match."

Many residents are pleased with the upcoming changes regardless of the driving inconvenience. One who says she supports the construction is Elma Stepp.

"I think it's a great idea because its saves a lot of little kids lives going to school because we have a lot of reckless drivers."

Others have mixed feelings, believing that the changes could actually fuel reckless drivers to be more dangerous. She says she would rather see an increased number of officers or crossing guards out during the school day.

"I don't think they're that busy that they can’t have an officer at least one officer around each elementary schools just to kind of monitor the situation because throughout the day, people will speed through the school zone they don't even care."

The roadwork is set to be complete by next week.

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