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FASNY Application Worries Some in Gedney Farms

Caroline Quattrochi moved to the Gedney Farms area six years ago so her children could do all “the normal kid stuff” like bike and walk to their friends’ houses. Now that the French-American School of New York has released plans for a nearby campus, Quattrochi fears the residential feel of the neighborhood won’t last.

“It’s difficult to walk the kids to school now,” said Quattrochi. “I can’t imagine what it will be like with 1,200 more people around.”

The area is already busy, said Quattrochi, whose two children encountered a car accident when they crossed Mamaroneck Avenue to get to Ridgeway Elementary School on Wednesday. She said if the school’s plans are approved the neighborhood will get more congested.

FASNY submitted an application Friday for the $60 million campus it plans to build on the site of the former Ridgeway Country Club. The three-school complex awaits scrutiny from several city agencies and departments as well as state-mandated environmental tests. FASNY estimates the approval process will last a year.

However, residents like Quattrochi, who spoke about her traffic worries at a recent Common Council meeting, aren’t waiting to voice their concerns.

“The taxpayers are going to have to pay the bill for any of the extra sewage and infrastructure that is built,” said Quattrochi, 40. “We have to fight for our public school budget as it is. I don’t think we can handle taking on any more.”

Traffic also worries Donn Sand, who lives on the same street FASNY will be built on.

“Ridgeway is a two-way, non-passing road,” said Sand. “I already feel nervous when cars pass me and I’m on this [recumbent tricycle].”

Sand said he and many of his neighbors have written letters to local politicians about how FASNY’s potential admittance of 1,200 students may lower property values, increase traffic, overburden the sewage system and alter the neighborhood’s character.

“I’ve never met anyone that lives around here that supports it,” said Sand. “It happened so fast we felt like we were steamrolled.”

FASNY has designed its driveways to avoid traffic buildup, according to FASNY press representative Geoff Thompson.

“All the traffic for the school will be able to get into the property on the driveways,” said Thompson. “There will be room for buses on one side and for cars to get by them.”

Thompson said FASNY will work with residents to develop a neighborhood-approved plan.

“We’re very confident that all of the concerns that residents have raised will be dealt with in the upcoming approval process,” said Thompson. “The public will have ample opportunity to come in and express their opinions.”

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