All hell breaks lose during drop-off and pick-up time at PS 115.
In both the morning and the afternoon, parents illegally double-park, causing other drivers to weave angrily through the mess, a situation that recently resulted in a child being hit by a car.
To help solve the problem, police have been strictly enforcing double parking rules along East 91st and East 92nd streets between avenues L and M, angering parents.
“They know we’re picking up our children, so I don’t really think it’s fair,” said Karla Knight, who sat in a car curbside as she waited for her children. “They come to the block, put on their siren, then we have to go around the block and come back again. And, people who aren’t in their cars are going to get ticketed.”
The situation in the morning is exacerbated for parents by the fact that those with children in pre-K are actually required by the school to walk their children to the classroom.
That’s how Tanya Melbourne – who leaves her car on East 92nd Street while she escorts her daughter into the school — got her ticket in February.
“Basically, that morning, the cops started at the top of the block and ticketed everybody,” Melbourne recalled.
But police say they have to ticket the double-parkers, because they are creating a dangerous situation. “Whatever precinct I’ve worked in, it’s been a chronic problem when children are being dropped off or picked up,” said Captain Milt Marmara, the commanding officer of the 69th Precinct, who pointing out that the issue is “exacerbated by geographic location.”
In the case of PS 115, the “very, very tight streets make the situation much worse,” he noted – so bad, in fact, that earlier this year, a child was struck by a car after emerging between parked cars to cross the street.
Nonetheless, Marmara said, cops don’t “particularly target that particular school.” However, he emphasized that double-parking creates hazards that the police are trying to mitigate.
Residents living across the street from the school are happy to see the enforcement.
“They block everything,” said John Friese, who lives on 92nd Street. “As soon as a lane opens up and there’s a gap, they start speeding down here. They don’t care about the kids.”
Friese and neighbor Eli Torres said they prefer parents simply block their driveways instead of double parking.
“They can use my driveway anytime,” said Friese. Torres agreed, stating that doing so would keep the kids safe.
Parking on 92nd Street on the side of the school is reserved for Department of Education staffers.