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District Gives Green Light to Addressing Traffic Issues Following Accidents

 By Teddy Carey, Junior

School areas have always been subject to reduced speeds, crossing guards, and precautionary signs. However, the recent news of two accidents outside the school has led to questions regarding the safety of Pelham school zones. Both accidents involved students enrolled in Pelham Memorial High School and resulted in injuries.


After these two incidents, Superintendent Peter Giarrizzo, Pelham Manor Mayor Jennifer Monachino Lapey, and Pelham Village Mayor Michael Volpe met on April 7 to discuss potential changes to be made near district schools. One proposal involves increasing the width of the crosswalk near the front of the high school. The town has also considered coloring the crosswalk. These measures would make the crosswalk more noticeable. In Massachusetts, all of the crosswalks are green; as a result, drivers are held completely responsible for any pedestrian in those crosswalks. Pelham is  trying to do the same thing. If drivers are held responsible, maybe they would slow down and pay more attention.


According to a memo from the Council of Governing Boards released on April 14, some changes have already been implemented. The Village of Pelham (VOP) has installed additional signage on Colonial Avenue and is considering the placement of improved crosswalks at Corlies and Pelhamdale Avenues. The VOP further plans to suggest a crosswalk at the Stellar and Colonial Avenues intersection (with signage to prevent crossing from Stellar to the PMHS/PMS side of the street). The Village of Pelham Manor will share its speed trailer/monitor for use at the PMHS/PMS complex. This device provides a visual reminder for drivers and promotes an awareness of speed in relation to posted speed limits. It also stores data for future analysis. Additional measures being considered include designating a drop‐off location on Colonial Avenue for high school students, relocating a bus stop on Colonial, pending approval, and adding a safety monitor at the intersection of Wolf ’s Lane and Colonial.


Another change Pelham is considering is lowering the speed limit. However, it is unlikely that this would change anything. Mr. Roberts, crossing guard at the corner of Corlies and Colonial, said, “The speed limit is already 15 miles per hour. If kids and parents just obeyed the laws already in place, then there would not be any problems.” After working there every day, Mr. Roberts has witnessed teenagers and parents speeding through the crosswalk in order to get to their sports, doctors, and other after-school activities, despite there being a “15 mph” sign posted clearly. The solution may not be adding new rules. It may just be enforcing old ones.