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Traffic, Student Safety Center Of Falconer Discussion | News, Sports, Jobs | #schoolsaftey


The intersection of East Avenue and East Main Street is pictured in the village of Falconer. Traffic congestion and student safety are being discussed by village, town and school officials.
P-J photo by Eric Tichy

FALCONER — Traffic congestion and student safety concerns in front of Falconer Middle-High School were brought up during a meeting of local officials this week.

Anthony Cavallaro, a member of the Falconer Village Board, and Mayor James Jaroszynski met with Falconer Central School Superintendent Stephen Penhollow, Ellicott town Supervisor Janet Bowman and members of the Ellicott Police Department to go over potential options for East Avenue. The street sees heavy use in the morning when students arrive for school and in the afternoon when school lets out for the day.

“We had a discussion on more signage, more painting of the street markings,” said Cavallaro, who alluded to an accident a month ago in which a student was struck by a vehicle after leaving one of the schools.

“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,” Cavallaro said. “So we’re just trying to come up with a plan.”

Part of the problem, members of the Falconer Village Board discussed Monday, is that some parents are obstructing the flow of traffic on East Avenue when dropping off or picking up their children.

One option brought up among the local and school officials is to have vehicle traffic — after dropping off students in front of the school — turn right and continue north on East Avenue toward Mosher Street.

Trustee Timothy Dunn asked about making East Avenue a one-way street past the school toward Mosher. Cavallaro said that idea was broached during their meeting, but conceded the idea “didn’t have a lot of support.”

Jaroszynski said he knows parents like to pick up their children right in front of the school. In Jamestown, he said some parents have learned to pick up their children a few blocks away from the downtown situated high school to avoid the heavy congestion that occurs when school lets out for the day.

“The biggest concern is East Avenue and Falconer Street,” Cavallaro said.

“It’s been that way for years,” Jaroszynski added.

The mayor continued, “You could put everything out there — lights, whatever. That’s why they call them accidents. Accidents happen. Once you’ve done all this and an accident happens then what do you do?”

Jaroszynski said the village Department of Public Works is looking into using yellow and white paint to color the crosswalks next to the school to draw more attention to motorists. He said the village is working with the school district and police department to limit accidents involving students.

Cavallaro said the school is being “proactive” to enhance safety in front of the middle-high school.

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.”

On Monday, Dunn suggested a traffic study be conducted to provide the village with some options.

Trustee Alan Gustafson Jr. said congestion worsens between 7:30 a.m. and 7:40 a.m. as parents try to drop off students at the middle-high school and the nearby Fenner Elementary School.

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