Teens Partner With DOT To Make South Bronx Streets Safer

A group of Bronx high school students are going above and beyond, moonlighting as urban planners. The teenagers partnered with the Department of Transportation to make the streets around their school safer; CBS2's Jessica Moore reports.

Video Transcript

- A group of Bronx High School students are going above and beyond and even moonlighting as urban planners.

- They partnered with the Department of Transportation to make the streets around their schools safer. CBS2's Jessica Moore reports.

JESSICA MOORE: At University Heights High School in the Bronx, these students are young safety sleuths.

- I've just known that the streets around here aren't too particularly safe, especially for young kids.

JESSICA MOORE: The sophomores saw a problem and decided to do something about it.

ELVIN MARTINEZ: People always say that the South Bronx is such a dangerous area, to, like, not go here. And I really wanted to prove that, like, hey, we know that it's a dangerous area, but we're trying to make a difference.

JESSICA MOORE: Through the school's I Challenge Myself after-school program, the students partnered with the DOT, creating changes to improve street safety around their school, where between 2014 and 2018, there were 201 car crash-related injuries.

IZEDEEN MUSA: It was definitely an interesting and amazing experience.

JESSICA MOORE: What was your favorite part about the whole thing?

IZEDEEN MUSA: To be honest, my favorite part was definitely being able to, like, use their meterstick to measure the streets because it would then be used to determine how much space there is available to add different things.

JESSICA MOORE: The changes will include building pedestrian islands and adding bike lanes, stop signs, and angled parking.

What was it like working with high school kids?

JEFF MCDUFFIE: It was really-- it was a really great experience. We had, like, a design chart. We had a board of the street. And they were able to, you know, place bike lanes or curb extensions or anything else in our toolkit to make the streets safer.

JESSICA MOORE: The DOT says work on implementing this new safety plan is expected to begin this summer. In the Morrisania section of the Bronx, Jessica Moore, "CBS2 News."

- Well, they have something to put on their resume already.

- Yeah, early.