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Queens Chronicle

Woodside's woes

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Posted: Thursday, April 5, 2012 12:00 pm

Dear Editor:

I write concerning two articles I recently read in the Chronicle.

The first was written by Paula Neudorf in the Feb. 23 paper ("New school in Woodside by 2015,” Western Queens edition). It pertains to a new elementary school being built in 2013 at 39th Avenue between 57th and 58th streets in Woodside.

Ms. Lorraine Grillo, president of the School Construction Authority, states the site is home to an unsuitable group of warehouses, and businesses have already moved or been relocated. The only business on the site is a photo development company that has been there for years.

Ms. Grillo also states that she has been trying to get an expansion of PS 11, which is a block and a half away from the proposed elementary school. She says PS 11 was removed from the city’s $11.2 billion five-year capital plan, though it had been previously slated for expansion. She doesn’t explain why.

My concern is that the community was never informed about this new school, which will put three elementary schools within a block and a half of one another, with the vast majority of the children being bused in from other areas of western Queens, presenting problems which should be discussed by the people of the neighborhood and their elected officials.

The area, as Ms. Grillo states, is mostly two-family homes. The three schools, including the proposed one, PS 11 and the private St. Sebastian’s, will probably have close to 2,000 children or more, mostly from other areas of District 30, being bused in on a daily basis.

I can’t believe that in all of western Queens there aren’t other sites that could be considered. The people who live in this area should have a say in what happens in their community, but they had no information or input at all in this decision.

I also heard the city is going to have a single-room occupancy dwelling just yards away from the proposed new school, and a needle exchange program will be instituted at Woodside Avenue and 63rd Street.

This area of Woodside seems to be the ideal dumping ground, since it is on the fringe of all the elected officials’ districts.

The other article was written by Michael Gannon in the March 8 edition (“Demanding answers, bus seats at PS 229,” multiple editions). It concerned eliminating busing for children at PS 229 in grades 3 through 6 who live in the Big Six complex on Queens Boulevard.

The article showed a photo of a convoluted intersection at 61st Street and Laurel Hill Boulevard. The intersection is convoluted because it is at an angle where people can’t see the traffic light while crossing.

However, because of an accident I was involved in about seven years ago, in which I as a motorist struck a pedestrian, the Department of Transportation installed a walk signal that tells people when and when not to cross.

This signal, unfortunately, was not shown in the photo because of a truck which completely obstructed the view of it.

Jim Condes

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