The staff of the Comprehensive Kids Development School, located at 383 Grand Street, say they’re increasingly concerned about a less than ideal, and potentially dangerous, situation alongside their Lower East Side campus. Each morning and afternoon, special education preschool students and their parents must navigate parked cars to get to and from the school. This week, they asked Community Board 3’s transportation committee to support their request to create a “No Standing” zone along Grand, just to the east of Norfolk Street.
The committee (lacking a quorum) voted unanimously to approve the proposal, which will ultimately be decided upon by the city’s Transportation Department. During the meeting, committee chair David Crane read from a letter written by CB3 member Rabbi Yissachar Ginzberg, who opposes the application on the grounds that it would create an “undue hardship for the community.”
Crane said his committee usually denies requests for new restricted parking zones. But because this school serves children with developmental delays, some of whom use wheelchairs, arm splints and leg braces, the proposal merited CB3’s support. He cautioned however, that the full board, where “the loudest and angriest voices often rule the day,” would have to sign off on the request when it meets July 26th.
The school is asking for a “No Standing” zone covering the length of about four cars every weekday morning for two hours and every weekday afternoon for another two hours. Nathan Slklar, Comprehensive Center’s director, said he has serious concerns about the safety of about 100 children who attend the school. Approximately 10 buses are used to transport students to and from the facility, which the school leases from the Seward Park Cooperative. He noted that several other neighborhood schools have “No Standing” zones. He also pointed out that cars are not allowed to park in front of the Comprehensive Care medical facility (located right next to the school on Grand Street).
Rabbi Ginzberg is a resident of the Seward Park Co-op and the principal of Mesivta Tifereth Jerusalem, a yeshiva at 145 East Broadway. That school has a “No Standing” zone, although the signage makes an exception for faculty parking. The yeshiva was part of a Department of Transportation program designed to improve pedestrian safety near more than 140 New York City schools.
In the past, Ginzberg has been critical of the bike lanes on Grand Street, new pedestrian crosswalks and other “traffic calming” measures that he believes have made the neighborhood less hospitable to motorists. Rabbi Ginzberg is out of the country for three weeks and was unavailable to comment for this story.