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Sleepy Hollow Debates Proposed Open Door Center Move

Sleepy Hollow resident Ed Andrews speaks during Wednesday's Zoning Board meeting.
Sleepy Hollow resident Ed Andrews speaks during Wednesday's Zoning Board meeting. Photo Credit: Meredith Shamburger

SLEEPY HOLLOW, N.Y. – Questions and concerns still surround Sleepy Hollow medical clinic's proposal to move its offices from Beekman Avenue to a North Broadway building.

Sleepy Hollow officials and representatives of the Open Door Family Medical Center continued to debate issues related to a proposed relocation of parking and traffic during Wednesday's Zoning Board meeting.

The clinic wants to move from its 5,000-square-foot building to a 12,000-square-foot building. The move would also help facilitate a residency program with Phelps Memorial Hospital.

Zoning Board officials voiced concerns about the proposed move's effects on Route 9 traffic, because cars would be turning in and out of the site onto the already-congested road. Residents have also voiced concerns about pedestrian safety, especially because 70 percent of the clinic's patients walk to the center.

“There's a reality factor in your statistics that we're worried about,” Chair Peter Koffler said.

Open Door representatives stressed that several studies show the relocation's traffic impacts would not be significant at the five-points intersection near the new building. They also cited a study of traffic accidents from the past five years, which show no pedestrian deaths.

“This is a safe crossing,” traffic consultant Michael O'Rourke said.

O'Rourke noted the intersection's lights are timed, with all but one light that turns to red when the pedestrian crosswalk button is pushed. The one light that turns green, for New Broadway motorists, does not see a lot of traffic, O'Rourke said.

Geraldine Tortorella, an attorney representating Open Door, also stressed that the clinic would be educating patients on how to cross the road safely. Open Door is also volunteering to pay for a crossing guard at the intersection.

Zoning Board members questioned whether the proposed site would have enough parking and enough space in its parking lot for larger vehicles to turn around. Open Door proposed that doctors and staff park at Phelps Memorial Hospital and take a shuttle to the North Broadway site.

The proposed on-site parking would be large enough for ambulances and taxis to turn around, Tortorella said.

Sleepy Hollow officials requested more information on available parking at Phelps Memorial Hospital before the next Zoning Board meeting.

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