Eyes on the Street: Queens Crossing Guards Improvise Street Safety Fixes

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At 82nd Street and 35th Avenue in Queens, a traffic cone helps keep drivers aware before crossing the path of students and parents. Photo: Clarence Eckerson

While Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz is out to tear up pedestrian refuges on a dangerous stretch of Fort Hamilton Parkway, over in Queens, local street safety experts are improvising their own traffic-calming measures. Streetfilms’ Clarence Eckerson took these pictures of crossing guards using cones as makeshift safety improvements outside two Jackson Heights schools.

The cones alert drivers and force them to take turns slower, functioning much like a neckdown or bulb-out at the street corner. The crossing guards break out the cones after school get dismissed, a tactic Clarence says he never saw until moving to Queens. He reports that the guards have their traffic-calming technique down to a science:

I’ve talked to two of the crossing guards. One told me, “We are not technically allowed to do it, but we do anyway because it really helps protect the kids and slow down the cars when they come down the street.”

I asked how she knows where to put it, and she said, “I’ve been doing this long enough to know how cars cut that corner really fast, without looking for kids. I look to see if there are any tire skid marks on the road or gravel and I always put the cone down outside any of those.”

Living on this block, it is amazing to see the difference this cone makes on turning speeds when it is out there for half an hour.

More pictures after the jump.

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Photo: Clarence Eckerson

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Photo: Clarence Eckerson