Statement by Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz on the Proposed Montefiore/WESTMED Development on Riverdale Avenue

The Montefiore/WESTMED/Simone Development project planned for Riverdale Avenue/Oxford Avenue could be a great benefit for our community, but is unacceptable as proposed. I have some serious concerns which I will raise at the Community Board 8 Land Use Committee meeting this Thursday. These concerns relate to parking and traffic issues and size.

The plan calls for 109 parking spots, not nearly enough for a thousand patients per day plus staff. There are several ways to address this. First, the facility needs to be smaller, meaning fewer floors and fewer offices. Second, on-site parking should be for patients only. Third, I recommend that a large number of parking spots be leased by Montefiore/WESTMED in an off-site location for staff, with a shuttle bus to transport them to and from the building.

A traffic study needs to be conducted to determine whether it’s best for cars to enter and exit through Oxford Avenue, a quiet, hilly and curved street, or Riverdale Avenue, a very busy thoroughfare, or both.

There is no easy way for such a large facility at that location to not be a terrible burden on the community. That is why I find this plan, as currently proposed, inappropriate. I hope our future neighbors will be good ones by shrinking this oversized project, increasing parking and moving parking for staff off-site. I look forward to fruitful discussions that result in a much more reasonable and sensible plan for all involved.