Getting kids to school safer is the idea behind the latest construction project in Elmira. As our Bill Mich tells us, two roundabouts are being added to a busy Southside street, a project officials say is a need for the community.
ELMIRA, N.Y. -- The speed limit on Maple Avenue is 25 miles per hour, but that's rarely followed by drivers.
"This particular site is also on a street, as you can see, where people don't go to slow. We've had difficulty slowing traffic down. We believe this will slow the traffic down around the intersections where kids have to cross," said 5th District Councilman Dan Royle.
The solution is two mini roundabouts that will be built at the intersection of Maple and Caldwell and Maple and Horner. The project that will cost just over $100,000 will be funded mainly by the "Safe Routes to Schools" program. Riverside Elementary is just a block away from these intersections.
"Riverside has always been a school that has a lot of walkers so now working with the city and the department of public works and other funding sources it will be even safer. So that's good news for everyone," said ECSD Superintendent Joe Hochreiter.
With the Elmira City School District's reorganization this year, some students became walkers for the first time so the issue of safety was a concern for many parents. These roundabouts hope to quell some fears, at least for some on the city's Southside.
"Our jurisdiction as a school district ends at the side walk, so obviously in this case, the city and other municipalities are picking up the responsibility and doing the best they can with it. We're honored that those roundabouts are happening and hopefully we'll have more and ease a lot of fears," Hochreiter.
The construction of the two roundabouts is scheduled to take three to four weeks to complete and city officials say they have more projects in the future to make traffic around schools a little slower and safer.