Street Safety – PS #3 Parent Concerns Survey (Responses)

In October 2017 I created a bi-lingual survey with my friend and fellow PS #3 parent, Catalina Aranguren. We shared it with the school community and asked for feedback.  This post summarizes the responses. Our goals with this survey are to:

  1. Understand initial feedback about street safety concerns.
  2. Synthesize the concerns into actionable feedback for Jersey City authorities, who ultimately have authority and responsibility to ensure our streets are safe.

The feedback is summarized below - to the extent possible we left responses verbatim, as they were provided to us. 

How do your kids get to school? Do they take the bus? Do you drive them? Do they walk, scoot, or ride a bike?

38 parents responded to the survey. I categorized their answers into the following:

  • Walk to school: 18 respondents
  • Drive to school: 11 respondents
  • Walk or scoot or bike: 5 respondents 
  • Walk or drive to school: 3 respondents
  • Light rail: 1 respondent
When it comes to street safety, what is your biggest concern?
  • People cutting thru side streets in AM to get to tunnel
  • Speed
  • Safety from cars speeding, road ragers, and students fighting in the street after school
  • Cars drive too fast
  • Drivers not paying attention, everyone is in a rush
  • Drop off and pick up
  • There is zero traffic calming. Cars drive too fast, and there is so much congestion that they aren't in proper lanes, or stopping at stop signs. Everyone is in a rush in the mornings especially. I'm afraid of a car hitting a child at some point.
  • The lack of drop off points by the school entrances- The backup traffic it causes on Monmouth street.
  • Traffic and parking
  • Having a crossing guard crossing the kids over
  • People driving carelessly. Too much traffic around school area
  • Getting hit by a car.
  • Cars are way too aggressive and the light sequence is off not allowing for flow of traffic in the area.
  • Not enough drivers who empathize with cycling as a mode of valid transport
  • Cars are constantly double parked because there is no designated drop off/pick up area.
    pedestrian safety
    pedestrian safety
  • 1) cars are driving too fast or they are inpatient, 2) traffic signs and traffic lights are not pedestrian friendly, esp in a school zone.
  • Crossing grand st at Jersey is terrifying everyday. I’d like to see pedestrian crossing (when both sides of traffic are stopped) and enough time for families to cross the street.
  • Montgomery Street-no crossing guard
  • Drivers barely stop at the stop signs at crosswalks and drive too fast nearby schools. Too much traffic at drop off/ pick up times.
  • Cars are too fast and not enough awareness of pedestrians
  • The drivers, many of whom do not live in JC. there is absolutely no JC police presence with this terrible, terrifying traffic pattern
  • Cars driving too fast and not stopping for pedestrians
  • Cars do not slow down at crosswalks.
  • Cars stopping sufficiently before stop sign
  • Cars are too fast and often do not respect the school zone or crossing guard
  • Pedestrian safety, particularly for children.
  • Cars driving too fast
  • Cars not stopping at stop signs/rolling into the crosswalk before stopping . Particularly at intersection of York and Jersey
  • My biggest concern are the cars most don't let pedestrian cross first
  • Aggressive drives coming downtown. They don't yield to pedestrians, often don't listen to crossing guards.
  • That my child will be hit by a car traveling too fast.
  • The number of vehicles on Jersey ave, especially at the bright and Jersey. Its very chaotic
  • Cars driving too fast / not stopping for people crossing the street
  • Cars not paying attention to pedestrians
If you could fix anything related to street safety near PS #3, what would it be? Share the most important.
  • Create short term parking near school to avoid people circling around looking for spots to drop off
  • Better equipped crossing guards
  • Stop signs on Bright, either side of Varick.
  • Police presence
  • Parking
  • Drop off section that doesn't get in the way of traffic flow, moving drop off for older children and a place to park to walk in younger children
  • I would put a police officer at Grand and Monmouth...that intersection is like a death-by-auto waiting to happen. Too much congestion, major congestion on Grand and cars turning up Monmouth, and only 2 crossing guards w/out any enforcement authority.
  • Some parking spots in lot next door (VS. cars getting towed) and/or a designated drop off point with guards that can help escort the children may be a solution.
  • Make sure there is a crossing guard to cover the kids that leave after 4 pm from after school clubs.
  • Better control of vehicular flow during drop off and pick up because there is no parking and too much traffic
  • Drop off and pick up
  • Safer, slower drivers. More enforcement.
  • I would like to see a drop off system where there are school safety officials helping in the morning to make sure each child is out safely. I believe the traffic lights need to be adjusted as it doesn't allow for enough time to turn into the plaza or the school. I would love to see some sort of light by Monmouth and bright street. Seeing that many do not follow traffic laws since the entire intersection has stop signs and noone seems to know when to go.
  • More bicycle friendly streets
  • Designated drop off/[ick up area. That empty lot right in front of the school seems promising!
  • Cars speed & through traffic on Monmouth st.
  • Grand and Jersey Ave intersection - 1)drivers are too fast, 2)walk signals do not work (ie walk signal does not come on when traffic has green but people still walk). This intersection needs SPEED limit enforced, or something that slows them down
  • Making street crossings longer and stop traffic in both directions to allow pedestrians to cross without turning cars coming at them. A stop sign on jersey ave and bright street could also be helpful. 
  • Add a crossing guard at montgomery st
  • I would have police give tickets to all the drivers who don’t stop at crosswalks even they see there are people who are about to cross.
  • Cars need to slow down (especially during dropoff and pickup hours- lower the speed limit to 15-20- like most suburbs) and be more vigilant that there are 2 large schools with a lot children in the area. I feel that most cars are completely oblivious that there is a school there.
  • Block off Varick as a no drive zone. Have clearly defined drop-off points well clear of the crosswalk
  • Add a stop sign on Bright (at Varick).
  • Install flashing yellow lights at stop signs. Install Street bumps in front of the school along Bright Street
  • Speed of cars at crosswalks
  • Speed bumps on Bright
  • Maybe have a drop off line - with rapid drop off (parents be quick!!) and the rest of the traffic has to go 15 MPH during school times. A few new signs - with timed flashing lights (other states have those) and two more speed bumps. Stevens' school has a drop off program to watch - and since PS#3 has an actual campus with gates and security it's easy to let your child out to go into the school, shouldn't need more that one guard standing directing kids into building (auditorium).
  • The Grand Street crossing
  • More regulation and ticketing from law enforcement around proper stopping at intersections and stop signs
  • There should be more pedestrian sign around the school.
  • No left turn from east bound Grand Street to Monmouth St. Also no left tern from the shopping center to Monmouth Street. I am sure the same need to be done on Jersey Avenue, but I just don't take that route.
  • We need a traffic light at the 4 way stop nearest bubby’s Burritos.
  • Have vehicles slow down and respect the traffic regulations and the school crossing signs. There are many vehicles on the road and it will only get worse with all the new building construction. THe city of New Jersey needs to address the roadway/public transportation infrastructure as new apartments are built and the population expands.
  • Make cars slow down for pedestrians
  • People who drop off their children should know not to park on the crossroad. It is extremely dangerous for those who walk to school.
Do you have any other concerns about street safety or safety in general near PS #3?
  • Number of vehicles
  • Pedestrian & bike safety on Grand St
  • Construction trucks should have restrictions on grand street. Potentially no trucks east of 78 in grand street before 10am to lessen traffic.
  • Too much traffic on Monmouth Street next to PS3
  • Certain cross guards need to be replaced. This idea may be crazy- but why not create a bridge or an overpass on the corner of Jersey and Grand.
  • Yes. Too many cars (parents included) drive fast and aggressivly in the morning. It's too bad there isn't a system in place to make Bright st 1/2 a drop off lane and the rest is traffic enforced to drive 15 mph during open/close times for school.
  • Overall there are far too many cars trying to make their way through a school crossing area.
  • The crossing guards are a must. Perhaps additional lights on all intersection next to school with dedicated time just to pedestrian (no left nor right turns during pedestrian crossing time). Turning vehicles are as dangerous as those driving straight.
  • Yes, there should be an organized drop- off/ pick up for those that drive be. Parents should be trained volunteers along with a safety officer so that morning and afternoon drop off and pick is smooth and efficient and safe!!! This is done at most schools across the state. Also, we need speed bumps and more crossing guards that are trained together help the children safely walk across the street. Safety tips and drills would be beneficial to reinforce this for the children.
  • There are many vehicles on the road and it will only get worse with all the new building construction. The city of New Jersey needs to address the roadway/public transportation infrastructure as new apartments are built and the population expands. There is also a lot of trash in and around the school.
  • Cars drive fast particularly in the morning cutting thru to tunnel. Suggest increasing enforcement (ie red light cameras / traffic cops giving tickets to people who blow stop signs) and Rumble strips
  • No, I think the crossing guards done a very good job
  • There don't seem to be enough crossing guards.
  • Cars driving too fast. Cars not stopping for pedestrians in crosswalks. Not enough 4-way stop signs. Crossing guards around the city not always doing their job.
What is the single-most important issue to you around street safety at PS #3?

This question had the following options: 

  1. I don't feel safe walking through crosswalks.
  2. Vehicles drive too fast in general 
  3. I drive and there is no parking for drop-off 
  4. I don't feel there are enough crossing guards
  5. I don't use my bicycle because I think it's too dangerous (but I'd like to use my bike) 
  6. Other (please write in your response)

38 parents responded to the survey. Here is how they answered:

Vehicles drive too fast in general: 15
I don't feel safe walking through crosswalks: 11
I don't feel there are enough crossing guards: 8
I drive and there is no parking for drop-off: 1
I think it's safe as it's now with sufficient crossing guards: 1
Traffic pattern of streets doesn’t allow for easy drop-off especially for those coming from north-west: 1
Vehicles drive too fast AND there is no parking for pick-up/drop off: 1

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