YOUNGSTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) — Parents in the Lewiston-Porter School District are sounding the alarm, saying the traffic outside the high school is too dangerous.
“As we have come back from COVID, we have noticed an increasing number of near-misses here at the entrance,” School District Superintendent Paul Casseri said.
Parent Brian Michel said dropping his kids off is the most dangerous part of his day. Between student drivers, parents rushing to work and school buses, he calls it a recipe for disaster.
“How many close calls do we need to have before this manner is taken seriously by the DOT and addressed?” He asked during a news conference Tuesday morning.
Leaders in the school district agree. High School principal Bradley Rowles said the traffic on Creek Road outside the building is a “constant concern” for school leaders.
“It is a constant concern. As a building-level administrator, my number one job and priority is the safety and well-being of the staff, students and families that are visiting this campus every day,” he said.
Rowles said the school monitors traffic during the start and end of the school day and that the traffic has gotten worse this past year. That’s why a group of parents, as well as school and state leaders, are asking the State Department of Transportation to install a permanent traffic light at the entrance of the school.
“This issue represents a matter of critical importance to parents, to students in the community alike, for student safety,” Michel said. “You have young drivers who are just getting on the road for the first time that have to negotiate one of the most dangerous intersections in Western New York, right out here off of Creek Road.”
School and state leaders and parents want the DoT to install a permanent traffic light at the entrance of the school.
“Coupled up with in the morning, and at dismissal, the heavy influx of buses that are here creates a scenario that will become very dangerous,” Assemblyman Angelo Morinello said.
The speed limit during school hours is 10 mph and there are flashing red lights to warn drivers to slow down, but they say that’s not enough.
“We are here this morning to bring an awareness to our community and to our New York State Department of Transportation, for our traffic study, and for an opportunity to provide greater safety for our students and staff,” Casseri said.
“We are trying to abate a dangerous situation and avoid a worst case scenario with, God forbid, one of our students being put in harms way,” Michel said.
School leaders hope a traffic light can be installed sometime this summer before the start of the school year.