Letters: How much handicap parking is needed at NDH?

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At the Nov. 19 public hearing on the proposed new building at Northern Dutchess Hospital, all speakers were for the hospital expansion.

A number of them, however, questioned whether or not the hospital needed to expand parking into the lawn that separates the hospital from Route 9.

Numerous alternatives to using this space were given, while the hospital insisted that they need handicapped parking accessible by the front door of the hospital to adhere to both building code and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

However, can Northern Dutchess Hospital cite any correspondence it has had in recent years with either the local Village of Rhinebeck Planning Board and/or government officials representing ADA, mandating that Northern Dutchess Hospital have a handicap parking area directly in front of it when the new building opens? If so, could they please share such documents with the public?

According to its website, Vassar Hospital has 697 beds and by my count, a small, five-space handicapped parking lot in front of the main building, with valet parking nearby. By contrast, the “68-bed acute-care non-profit” Northern Dutchess Hospital will have 15-20 such spots nearby, plus valet parking.

Jon Wechsler
Rhinebeck

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