FALCONER — New student drop-off and pick-up procedures have been put in place at Falconer Middle-High School. The safety measures began over the summer and will continue to roll out as students return to class this week.
School personnel met several times with officials from the town of Ellicott and village of Falconer to review student crosswalk areas “to make them as safe as possible,” Superintendent Stephen Penhollow told The Post-Journal.
Student safety concerns were addressed previously by Falconer Village Board members. Some of the discussion centered on traffic congestion in front of Falconer Middle-High School when students are dropped off in the morning and when they’re picked up in the afternoon.
“It’s just a very, very congested area in the mornings and then in the afternoon when school is coming on and school letting out,” village Trustee Anthony Cavallaro said. “So we’re just trying to come up with a plan.”
Among changes implemented this school year are new traffic patterns on East Avenue near the entrances to the middle-high school.
At the small loop near East Main Street, the “no left turn” sign on East Avenue has been changed to “left turn only.” The restriction is from 7-8 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. on school days.
Further down by the bus garage, drivers will be required to make a right-turn only from 7-8 a.m. and 2-3 p.m. on school days.
“The idea is to try and limit as much traffic as possible during drop-off and pick-up times,” Penhollow said.
Other safety-related changes have been made by Falconer Central School. Among them:
¯ painting all crosswalk areas with stripes to bring more attention to the areas during the summer months.
¯ adding additional signage and reflective materials to current signage. Penhollow said curbing in between the crosswalk area has been painted to remind drivers it is a “no stopping/standing area.”
¯ using the district’s new safety positions in each building to educate students on proper ways to cross the roads.
¯ adding stationary plastic crosswalk signage on East Avenue.
¯ working with Ellicott and Falconer to post for a crossing guard.
The intersection of East Avenue and East Main Street next to the school has previously been a focal point for student safety. Then-state Sen. Cathy Young in 2018 helped push for a new traffic signal to be installed by the state Department of Transportation after two students were struck by a car as they were walking by the school.
Young called the accident a “tipping point” for action.
“While our previous efforts to secure a traffic signal in the area had not been successful, these new circumstances sparked a demand for change that could no longer be ignored,” she said. “We immediately launched an effort with DOT to begin the process needed to install a signal.”