Open Letter to Montefiore Hospital

Last week we asked readers to comment on the proposed Montefiore development on Riverdale Avenue. Of all the replies we received, this was the most comprehensive and eloquent. We present it here as an open letter to Montefiore Hospital and its CEO Dr. Safyer:

Riverdale is a small residential community. It has quiet streets, lovely houses and apartments, exquisite parks, and good neighbors.That is why I moved here.

I did not move here so that I could live next door to the eleven story urgent care facility now under construction on Riverdale Avenue and 238'th Street. This building will be huge - eleven stories high and 93000 square feet extending all the way from Riverdale Avenue to Oxford Avenue. This by itself is a reason not to build it. And worse, it will serve an estimated 1000 patients a day, seven days a week, This signals crowded streets, noise, and traffic congestion. Our neighborhood's tranquility will be destroyed.

We have already suffered from real estate speculation that has replaced our lovely old houses with gigantic apartment buildings. We have already have a tall nursing home that blocks the sky and brings the constant blare of ambulance sirens to our homes. This medical facility will be another blister.

Montefiore Hospital says that this new facility will serve Riverdale. But Riverdale has a population of about 40000 people. If my math is right, this means that at 1000 people per day, the facility will treat everyone in Riverdale in less than two months. The truth is that thousands of people will come from other parts of the Bronx and Westchester Country. Our sidewalks will be crowded with patients. Our streets will be blocked with cars and vans and more ambulances. Our quiet will end. Our home values will fall. We will lose our neighborhood.

If you would like to make your voice heard, we welcome your response. Reply directly to us, or attend the Land Use Committee of Community Board 8 tonight at the Riverdale YMHA at 7:30 pm.


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