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School Entrance at Raleigh Synagogue Poses Traffic Risk, Members Say

Members of Sha'arei Israel Synagogue on Falls of the Neuse Road in Raleigh say the entrance to their school is an accident waiting to happen.

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An accident waiting to happen is how some describe the entrance to a school at Sha'arei Israel Synagogue on Falls of Neuse Road in Raleigh.

There are no traffic signals in front of the synagogue, and getting there often means crossing four lanes of traffic and a turn lane.

"Our choice is not to worship or to cross the street," said Laura Solkowitz, a member of the congregation.

Solkowitz spends a lot of time at the temple, where her 3-year-old daughter attends school.

"I can wait here for up to 10 minutes for enough of an opening to safely cross into the middle lane and then wait for someone to kindly let me into traffic," she said.

There are no traffic signals in front of the synagogue. It is in a school zone, but the school times are for Ravenscroft School across the street, and they do not coincide with the classes at the synagogue.

Steve Rosner, whose grandchild attends school at the synagogue, sent a letter to the city and to leaders of the congregation in hopes of making the entrance safer. He received an e-mail from the city's senior transportation engineer saying that the traffic controls are "correct and sufficient."

Solkowitz said she just hopes something is done soon.

The story may develop an ecumenical aspect. Members of the congregation said the rabbi of Sha'arei Israel plans to meet with the pastor from the church next door to discuss options for alleviating safety concerns.