Parents who attended the Mon, Sept 11 CB12 Transportation Committee meeting reported back to the membership during the Sept 20th PTA Meeting.
The Car Wash showed up with a traffic expert and a lawyer and declared “the school was the problem.” Further consideration for the proposal will be considered at next month’s meeting. Please mark Monday, October 2nd at 7 pm in your calendar at 530 West 166th Street, 6th Floor. We should show our support for the existing proposal being considered to change traffic patterns surrounding our school.
For the last couple years, a group of school parents has been trying to get DOT to do something about the streets around the school. While we did improve the light timing at 220th a while back, 219th and 220th streets continue to be a mess during drop-off and pick-up. With the support of the principals of PS 18 and PS278, we requested that DOT change 219th and 220th to one-way streets, in order to better deal with the rampant double-parking that clogs the streets in both directions and causing much unnecessary horn honking, U turns and other unsafe conditions. We also asked for speed bumps and a signal at 219th. Double parking on each side with a single one-way travel lane in the middle will work better than double parking on each side with one travel lane being fought over by cars going in opposing directions.
DOT looked at the situation and said “you’re right, this is silly, every other side street in residential Inwood is one-way so this should be too, we agree.” But then the Car Wash went ballistic over the minor change to their oil-change queue (they line up on W220th headed west and use it as parking for waiting oil-change customers), and they did a full-court press on DOT with lawyers, employees, etc. crying how important and great the car wash was and how they help the police and the hospital and provide jobs and that they should not only not go to one-way but they should remove parking for extra car wash queuing space. Because of course the #1 traffic jam creator in upper Manhattan after La Marina and PJs should be treated with kid gloves instead of, say, the 900 actual kids impacted by dangerous street conditions and stuck sitting on buses.
So DOT spent the last summer doing more studies and revising their proposal. It consists of one way streets, the elimination of some parking spots and designated parking for our school teachers.
If any parents are interested in this situation and would like to see one-way streets enacted, please attend this meeting if you can. The car wash is sure to be present and the community board will be pressured by them if they are the only ones in the room.
I knew I was overdue with a community update but I didn’t realize how tardy I have been until I checked my files. I apologize.
Throughout the year I have managed to do Wits Bits in all the grades from K – 5 doing a variety of lessons from My Plate to Marinara Sauce with only four ingredients. I am always rewarded that the children seems to appreciate the lessons more than even I anticipate.
I am also mad about using a spiralizer in and out of the classroom. We had a Café Day in April with lots of moms to help. We made three salads all featuring spaghetti shaped cucumbers, zucchini and carrots. The children were enthusiastic eaters. What a difference from when I started.
The tower garden that lives in Ms. Lucarelli’s class finally gave us a basil harvest.
She deserves a gold star for persistence in making the garden grow. We were able to harvest plenty of basil and make pesto and tomato sauce in her 6th grade class adding the results to zucchini “pasta”. Yes, made with the spiralizer.
But what can I say to a school where when I walked in six years ago the kitchen considered me nothing but a nuisance. Or a Wellness Committee attended by Sarah Townley and me. The Café Days were so unpopular, I stopped doing them for a while. And the only thing that seemed successful was going into the classroom. The children saved me.
Today I write my final letter to you with a full heart, a little teary but so proud of what we have accomplished in a journey together. The Wellness Committee includes all members of the community. Café Days with mostly vegetarian options are beyond successful. The kitchen and I have been a mutual admiration society for years. And the children I met in Kindergarten are mostly taller than me.
I still have a few more classes to visit with Wits Bits and will be at the Spring/Summer Event o the 17th. I know that I will come back to 278 in the coming year because you have played such a significant part of what we do at WITS. I am only saying, “ I will see you in halls….and Thank You”.
For those who have not heard, our long time Principal, Maureen Guido is retiring this year. On June 8th from 5pm until 10pm we will celebrate her countless contributions to our community at Brown Sugar, 5060 Broadway. This is a ticketed, adult only event.
Join the students of PSMS 278 for an all out competition on May 30! Volunteers are welcome to help run the event. Our activities are planned to take place at Columbia’s Baker’s Field right down the street.