WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – After three years of silence, the White Plains school board and superintendent came out this week in opposition to the French-American School of New York’s proposed campus .
The school moved its proposed campus’ main entrance to North Street earlier this year. In a letter to the city’s Common Council, the school board and Superintendent Tim Connors wrote that the North Street entrance would create safety hazards for high school students and staff and be disruptive to the school's operation by tying up traffic.
They also said FASNY's proposed traffic mitigations, such as a mandatory busing policy and staggered start times for its upper, lower and preschools, would only make the situation worse. The mandatory busing policy would limit the amount of car trips in and out of the campus to 530 per hour. It would be part of a plan to help reduce FASNY traffic by more than 50 percent, according to Michael Zarin, who represents FASNY.
The letter read, “This policy is likely to result in the unintended and counterproductive consequences of both a high number of partially filled buses in addition to many more cars than projected.”
The city school officials, which included Connors and all seven board members, said the policy could be “devastating to White Plains School operations” during inclement weather.
FASNY questioned why Connors and the school board waited until now to make their opposition known and said their letter lacked substantive analysis and “appeared based on conjecture rather than facts.”
The city school officials say in the letter they convened a committee that reviewed FASNY’s final environmental impact statement -- which the city adopted in December 2013 -- plus traffic studies and more documents and analyses.
What they didn’t do was reach out to FASNY, according to the private school’s statement Wednesday. It also says the school administration didn’t hire any outside consultants to review FASNY’s submissions.
The public hearing on the proposal was closed Wednesday, Sept. 10, but written comments continue to be accepted, including the White Plains schools’ letter. It was submitted to the White Plains Common Council Tuesday and will be considered “as all public comments have been and will continue to be,” said Karen Pasquale, senior advisor to Mayor Thomas Roach.
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