Visitation School in Riverdale to install 'play street'

Part of the road in front of the Visitation School will be closed to traffic during both drop-off and pick-up hours.

Part of the road in front of the Visitation School will be closed to traffic during both drop-off and pick-up hours. (7/1/16)

RIVERDALE - A principal in Riverdale is busy at work to ensure his students have a safer environment to learn in the next school year.

Students and parents at the Visitation School can expect a safer street in front of their school.

Starting in September, a portion of West 239th Street between West Putman Avenue and Review Place will become a play street, meaning it will be closed to traffic during both drop-off and pick-up hours.

The school did use unofficial barriers that Principal Chris White says drivers would ignore.  White says he noticed an increase in traffic since the area has seen more commercial businesses, like BJ’s, being built.

"We have had several aggressive drivers that will bypass the barriers because they're not official, and we have had a couple of close calls where students have been almost hit," says White.

Community Board 8 voted on a traffic fix last month after a few near misses.  Members say they may actually be able to shut the road down for the entire school day, not just during certain hours.

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