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Sleepy Hollow Neighbors Protest Proposed Open Door Center

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – A proposed medical facility at the intersection of North Broadway and New Broadway has Sleepy Hollow residents concerned about the effects of increased traffic and parking on the surrounding neighborhood.

“This just cannot happen,” Sleepy Hollow resident Donna Gates said during a recent planning board meeting.

The Open Door Medical Center wants to move out of its 5,000-square-foot offices on Beekman Avenue into an existing building at 300 North Broadway in the Webber Park neighborhood. Open Door provides low-cost health care including medical, dental and chronic disease management care.

Under the proposed plan, about a dozen parking spots will be available to patients. Staff will be required to park at Phelps Memorial Hospital Center and take a shuttle bus to the new building. The nonprofit organization will also add a crossing guard at the Broadway intersection for pedestrian safety.

The building's New Broadway entrance will only be used for handicapped people, according to Kyle McGovern, an attorney for Open Door. The official entrance and building address will be on North Broadway, and McGovern said this should lessen the potential burden on New Broadway residents.

Open Door has other locations in Mount Kisco and Ossining that they say are similar to the new Sleepy Hollow location, which is in a dense area with limited parking.

“We're not learning on the go here,” McGovern said, noting the organization is already operating in the village.

Most of the medical facility's clients don't drive to the clinic, Bernie Adler, a traffic consultant for Open Door, said He says about 70 percent of all clients choose to walk to the facilities.

“The Open Door proposed at this location would not be a traffic impact on Sleepy Hollow,” Adler said.

Residents in the Webber Park neighborhood disagree with Open Door's arguments.

Edna Robinson lives on New Broadway and says she's very concerned about the traffic impacts from patients either parking in her neighborhood or being dropped off.

“It is residential,” Robinson said. “It's not downtown.”

Residents noted the proposed facility is located near a five-road intersection, the busiest in Sleepy Hollow. Accidents are common, they say, and traffic to the Open Door center would only add to that.

A few residents noted that no matter what time of day it is, traffic is “bumper to bumper.” Parking is also limited by the houses and apartments already in the neighborhood.

Gates said there was nothing Open Door could do to stop taxis from dropping people off on New Broadway—and eventually they would learn to use that entrance because it's easier to head south on Route 9 or go to Beekman Avenue from there than the North Broadway entrance.

Webber Park resident John Chebetar questioned why Open Door wanted to have a location so far north in the village, saying there were other empty buildings closer to the facility's target demographics.

Planning Board Chair Glenn Rosenblum said a decision on the proposed facility would not be made for several meetings.

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