Edgemont reflective mask photo

An Edgemont junior high school student wears one of the new reflective masks being distributed to enhance public safety for pedestrians throughout Greenburgh.

The Youth Advisory Council, a group of junior high school students from Edgemont, came together in November to discuss ways to help the community. Guided by Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner and prompted by road accidents involving pedestrians in recent years, the group set its sights on pedestrian safety. The members of the Youth Advisory Council — Siddanth Karthik, Yash Shah, Maya Barmecha, Yashica Balasubramanian, Matthew Bench, Samanth Jain, Lala Wu and Evelyn Gipstein — have met by Zoom over the past several months to brainstorm solutions to help improve pedestrian safety in Edgemont.

Karthik, an Edgemont seventh grader, said, “We realized that there weren’t enough stop signs and a decent amount of accidents were caused by drivers not seeing pedestrians.” 

Over the past four years, there have been 98 accidents involving pedestrians in Edgemont and Greenburgh. With visibility a big factor in accidents involving pedestrians, a specific product jumped to mind: reflective face masks that would boost visibility of people walking in crosswalks, sidewalks or road shoulders. Pointing out the dual usage of the product, Supervisor Feiner said masks “address COVID health concerns and also address pedestrian safety.” 

Feiner also said the members of the Youth Advisory Council plan to push the town board to fund more sidewalks in Edgemont.

The student group hopes to accomplish its goal of gathering and distributing hundreds of masks, but the group members need some help. Siddanth and his peers have set up a GoFundMe page for the community to make donations that would help them raise money to purchase reflective masks. Siddanth hopes to “start deliveries in the next few weeks.” To help support the effort, visit http://bit.ly/2KzXuSA.

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