Niskayuna High School is changing its drop-off procedures effective Monday to improve student safety.
At issue is a 15-minute period in the morning beginning at 7:20 a.m. when both high school students and middle school students who have music ensemble rehearsals at the high school are being dropped off. The convergence of all these vehicles can create backups at both the Balltown Road and Nott Street Extension entrances.
Superintendent Susan Kay Salvaggio on Tuesday announced changes to improve traffic circulation.
“It’s just a high level of drop-offs. Most of our middle school kids are coming by car to school,” she said.
School officials are asking that before 7:20 a.m. parents only use the Balltown Road entrance. If parents come in from Balltown Road and are dropping off high school students, they should take a left and drop them off by the pool entrance. Those who are dropping off middle school students should turn right and use the main entrance loop.
Parents using the Nott Street entrance will be able to turn right and drop off students at the bus loop. A group of buses located there will be moved.
Parents should drop off students only at these three designated areas. School staff will direct traffic.
“We know it’s going to be kind of a behavioral adjustment, we need to create a different pattern for dropping off compared to what some folks are used to,” Salvaggio said.
The other issue is creating safe pedestrian routes. “We have a significant number of people — mostly students, but adults too — that don’t use the designated crosswalks,” she said.
For example, Salvaggio said, she has noticed youths coming from the student parking lot who cross in the middle of the street. The district is going to add a third mid-block crosswalk and replace the slight hill coming from the lot with concrete steps and handrails, which will be helpful during inclement weather. It will also put a fresh coat of paint on the two existing crosswalks and add some free-standing pedestrian signs.
School staff is going to be stationed outside to remind people to use the crosswalks.
The district will continue to monitor how these changes are working.
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