If the Long Beach Middle School were a cable TV drama, the cliffhanger at season’s end would have described an encounter between .
The boy was headed to graduation rehearsal on his board. He was strong and purposeful. He was a natural on wheels. He was a member of the Gladiators, the wrestling team. He crossed as he did everyday, without a helmet. On this last day of school, “boom!” he was knocked off his board, unconscious, by a white Mercedes Benz SUV.
As the new season of “Long Beach Middle School” begins, our skateboarder is and no apparent safety plan exists.
I read in the Herald that Governor Cuomo signed Harvey's bill into law allowing the in Long Beach. While the article mentioned this particular accident, they should have been clear to say the new bill does not help this particular situation. It deals with some residential streets. Anyway, none of us want to drive 15 mph on Lido Boulevard.
The unfortunate truth is that the Long Beach Middle School and the Long Beach High School are in Lido Beach. Long Beach kids have to cross Lido Boulevard and there is no safe way if we have to depend on Nassau County and the Town of Hempstead for protection.
We need a safe supervised crossing in Long Beach managed by the Long Beach Police Department. There is a Nassau County crossing guard at Allevard in Lido, which is good for students who live in Lido Beach. There is an underlying problem here to be solved. Long Beach cops do not work in Lido Beach but they should be protecting Long Beach’s students. My idea is called “The Maple Street Crossing.”
Maple Street is the Lido Beach-Long Beach border. There is a fire house on the south side and the police auxiliary headquarters on the north side. It is on the bus route.
I propose that the city position a police officer at the “Maple Street Crossing” to control traffic as the cars take off onto the six lane highway that is Lido Boulevard (Park Avenue in Long Beach). The “Maple Street Crossing” would be safe and supervised, just as it is where Long Beach Traffic Police are stationed at the elementary schools.
Parents would advise their kids on bicycles, skateboards and foot to cross no further east than Maple. (The police might remind the kids headed for the middle school on bicycles to put on their helmets -- it is the law, after all.)
With a Long Beach police officer directing traffic for kids to cross, there will be peace of mind for parents and students who are headed to the high school and the middle school.
Let’s honor the boy who was hurt crossing at Greenway by asking Long Beach PD and the city council to take up this initiative to keep the students of the Long Beach Schools safe. Hopefully, he’ll be back at the high school before this season ends and crossing with a skateboard will be a bit safer.