GREENBURGH, N.Y. Driving on Hartsdale Avenue between the hours of 7 to 9 a.m. and 3 to 5 p.m. from Dobbs Ferry Road to Secor Road can take much longer than anticipated because two schools on either side of the street allow students to be dropped off and picked up on both sides of the street.
By the end of the year, the morning and afternoon traffic will be a bit quicker as the town is installing stoplights as part of an improvement plan for the area. Construction is expected to begin in the spring. Currently, a police officer is designated to the area between Maria Regina High School and the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. The officer works as a crossing guard to slow down traffic and make the streets safe for student pedestrians and drivers.
"[The area] has gotten enough traffic that the lights were warranted," said Thomas Madden, Greenburgh's commissioner of the department of community development and conservation.
Along with the stoplights, a sidewalk extension will be added to line the streets near the schools as part of the intersection's improvement plan. In 2011, a sidewalk was installed up to the entrance of Maria Regina as part of the roadway improvements. The new sidewalk extension will spread to the areas connecting the schools to Dobbs Ferry Road and Pat Capone Road.
"We're making it a more walkable, pedestrian-friendly community," said Madden. "Sidewalks are good. They're very good things to have."
Currently, the crossing guard in between the two schools is a member of the Greenburgh Police Department, getting paid four hours of overtime daily. While the guard is paid by the police department, the police are reimbursed by Solomon Schechter.
"From my perspective, it's good having an officer out there," said Greenburgh Police Chief Joseph DeCarlo. "With an officer out there, he's strategically located. If there's a crime committed in the area, he can see cars coming by. And there are three schools out there with traffic. I've been happy to have the officer out there."
The stoplight and sidewalk project is being funded by the Solomon Schechter School of Westchester. They could not be reached for comment as of 1:30 p.m. Tuesday.
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