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Protect kids at Metro Ave. bus stops: CB 6

A car pauses on Metropolitan Avenue to allow students from the nearby school to cross the street.
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At the end of each school day, hoards of students from two high schools converge on a busy Queens intersection where hijinks and crowded crosswalks have created an accident waiting to happen, community leaders say.

Community Boards 5 and 6 teamed up and sent a letter Oct. 5 to the city requesting that some bus stops be shifted to protect youngsters from Metropolitan High School, at 91-30 Metropolitan Ave., and Christ the King High School, at 68-02 Metropolitan Ave., who throng the intersection each school day.

“Since the opening of the Metropolitan High School ... an unsafe and overcrowded condition has significantly increased,” the letter said, addressed to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority.

The crowds, which the boards estimated at more than 100 teens, have to cross both busy thoroughfares and wait in large groups on the sidewalk as cars zip by.

And teenagers are not always as mature and well-behaved as they could be, according to CB 6 District Manager Frank Gulluscio.

“At dismissal time, there are just a lot of teenagers being teenagers,” he said. “There could be trouble.”

Although Gulluscio was not clear about the details, the board had caught wind that a girl was beaten up at the corner when someone hopped out of a car and attacked her.

The incident and general safety concerns about the overcrowding prompted the boards to write the letter. Gulluscio said he would like to see the NYPD provide an extra squad car at the intersection during the times that students get out of school.

The problem arises from the fact that the two roads are major hubs for public transportation.

Students from Christ the King are transported from their school to the intersection by special Q54 buses.

The students arrive at the intersection and then have to cross Metropolitan Avenue in droves to wait for the southbound Q11, Q21 and Q53L buses on the other side, the letter said.

In addition, students from Metropolitan High School get out at the same time and flock to the same stop, but they must cross both Metropolitan Avenue and the eight-lane Woodhaven Boulevard.

“The southbound bus stop is overwhelmed by students every afternoon,” said Vincent Arcuri, chairman of CB 5. “Christ the King and Metropolitan students all gather on small, skinny sidewalks.”

The boards want the MTA to move the bus stop for the Q11, Q21 and Q53L to the southwest corner of the intersection so the students from each school would not have to cross Metropolitan Avenue.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 4:59 pm, July 9, 2018
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