After months of lobbying, parents, residents and state Sen. Jose Peralta (D-Jackson Heights) will finally get their wish.
The NYPD informed Peralta’s office that a crossing guard will be posted at PS 206, which sits just off the intersection of Junction Boulevard and Horace Harding Expressway on the border of Elmhurst and Rego Park.
The corner has been a congested intersection for many years. Parents and elected officials complained that with the recent opening of the Rego Center II mall, there are more cars on the service road to the Long Island Expressway.
“This is a very dangerous intersection for children and there’s simply no substitute for the direct, hands-on traffic control and help that a crossing guard provides to kids,” Peralta said.
Several years ago there was a crossing guard assigned to a corner three blocks from the school, located at 98th Street, but she retired some time ago.
In the years since, the Parent Teacher Association, Friends of LeFrak Library and Principal Joan Thomas have all sent letters to city officials and departments.
Peralta, who said he was encouraged by the launch of Vision Zero and the city’s heightened commitment to improving street safety, petitioned the Department of Transportation and wrote a letter to the NYPD’s Chief of Transportation Thomas Chan in March.
Chan testified before the City Council this year that the crossing guard ranks were understaffed by approximately 200.
At the time, Peralta told Chan he hopes PS 206 was counted among the priority vacancies that needed to be filled.
The 112th Precinct, which oversees the area, is in the process of interviewing and hiring an official crossing guard but a candidate should be chosen in a matter of weeks.
According to Peralta’s office, the guard’s hours will be from 7 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.