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Commack focuses on traffic safety near schools

Commack is a hamlet in the Town of

Commack is a hamlet in the Town of Smithtown on Long Island. (Jan. 5, 2011) Credit: T.C. McCarthy

Concerned about traffic outside school buildings, the Commack school district and the Town of Smithtown have teamed up on a state-funded safety training program.

Smithtown Youth Bureau executive director Kelly DeVito said the agency has won a five-year, $150,000 grant from the state Department of Transportation to launch the “Safe Routes to School” program at Commack’s Indian Hollow and Wood Park primary schools and Mandracchia Sawmill Intermediate School.

Smithtown will use state funds to hire a part-time coordinator for poster contests, pedestrian and bicycle safety workshops, and community awareness campaigns, DeVito said.

Commack school officials hope the program will help protect students who walk or bike to school on roads with high traffic volume, said district spokeswoman Brenda Lentsch.

Traffic is particularly heavy when students arrive at or leave school, she said.

Commack’s safety programs are funded by the district budget or parent-teacher organizations, Lentsch said.

However, such programs could be eliminated or curtailed by district budget cuts.

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