WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – The French-American School of New York has made significant changes to its site plan for a 130-acre pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade campus to reduce its impact on traffic, but many nearby residents remain staunch in their opposition.
The changes include reducing the maximum number of students from 1,200 to 950, moving the main entrance from the residential Ridgeway Avenue to the “arterial roadway” North Street and making busing mandatory in an effort to reduce FASNY traffic by more than 50 percent.
Joan Traber, who taught at Ridgeway Elementary School for more than 30 years, said Monday, July 7, at the first of three public hearings on the proposal that enforcing mandatory busing is impossible.
Hundreds turned out for the hearing, with overflow seating outside the courtroom and on the first floor. Speakers for and against the revised plan, which were near even, traded blows until after 11 p.m. Monday
FASNY says it will install real-time trip sensors and video cameras to record the number of cars entering and exiting the school daily to make sure no more than 530 trips per hour are made into and out of the school, according to Michael Zarin, who represents FASNY.
“The city will have a real-time understanding of how many cars are being generated by FASNY on an ongoing basis,” he said.
However, Patridge Road resident Bob Meyerson said that number can increase if FASNY has staggered start times for its three schools, something it cites as part of its traffic management plan.
“So if there’s 530 vehicles in and out, times two hours, or an hour-and-a-half, that’s a lot of traffic,” he said. “All of their traffic is going to impact all of the traffic we currently have.”
Andrew Swanson, a Club Point Drive resident who has served on the North Street Civic Association, said North Street stops being an “arterial road” when it turns from four to two lanes from Ridgeway Avenue to the Harrison border.
“An arterial roadway defined as such, you could define Hathaway Lane as an arterial lane,” he said.
Zarin said the school would encourage students to take the Hutchinson River Parkway to avoid congestion on North Street and Ridgeway. However, many who oppose the plan said the buses will still take those city roadways.
Zarin presented the various changes to FASNY’s proposal at the public hearing Monday, which the city decided to break into two for the proposed discontinuation of Hathaway Lane from Ridgeway Avenue to Gedney Esplande.
Check back for what residents had to say about Hathaway Lane, as well as the 78-acre conservancy.