Thursday, September 06, 2007

Supporting Sprawl . . .

Here we go again . . . another example of Oneida County (1) turning its residents into serfs to support New Hartford's aspirations and (2) degrading the environment. Middle Settlement Road, a County Highway, will be widened to accommodate more traffic -- to relieve alleged congestion.

I don't know about you, but I have yet to be caught in congestion on Middle Settlement Road. It's interesting that the OD prints a picture of cars lined up -- but there is road work interfering with traffic flow -- giving the impression of "congestion." I would love to see if statistics show that the level of service (LOS) ratings on that road's intersections have degraded.

Of course, with New Hartford's BIG PLANS for more retail and office space, eventually the LOS will degrade, and the road will need upgrading.

But who should pay?

New Hartford's decision to pile ever more development into formerly low intensity use areas is a conscious effort to expand its tax base and take in ever more dollars. This is New Hartford's plan -- not Oneida County's.

New Hartford in its environmental reviews should know what the impact of its choices will be to the regional road network, and it has a duty to mitigate those impacts to the maximum extent practicable. New Hartford could either fund the upgrades and maintenance to the roads that will be needed for its plan, or change its plans to less intense use that will not overtax County Facilities. Of course, in New Hartford, environmental reviews are more rhetoric than reality, and the assumption seems to be the more development the better.

So, in typical Oneida County fashion, everyone gets to pay for New Hartford's play, whether you live in NH, Utica, or Boonville. Just another half mile of widened road added to an ever increasing infrastructure that our declining population will be forced to maintain -- while older areas where infrastructure is already available crumble and go underutilized. Only the developers and Town government types benefit from this nonsense.

When does it stop?


Anonymous said...

Picente and Reed must be in "bed" together on this one.

Anonymous said...

Everyone gets to pay because every Oneida County resident sees alot of New Hartford money taken by the county and used outsied of New Hartford.BTW, aren't there mitigation funds available for this anyway?

Strikeslip said...

I think if New Hartford expects the County to pay to maintain roads for New Hartford's development, THE COUNTY should decide exactly where in New Hartford (or elsewhere) that development should go.

Lets do away with Townships completely!

Strikeslip said...

If there even are mitigation funds, will there be enough (or any) flowing to the county to pay for the increased maintenance caused by a wider road and more traffic?

This is the problem: the regional population declines, but the suburbs demand more infrastructure to expand their tax bases. The result is that as a region everyone pays higher taxes (though the suburban rich might see a decrease while the urban poor will definitely pay more).

The solution to the unfairness is
MERGER of City and Suburbs. With merger, EVERYONE shares the decisions of what goes where, EVERYONE shares the associated costs, and EVERYONE shares the benefits.

NH parochialism is killing the entire area.

Anonymous said...

What is Picente doing about the non-partisan Steering Committee? It certainly does appear it is political in nature.

trophyguy said...

Wasnt it also the intention of the NYSDOT to close off the Middle Settlement/Rt. 5 intersection if and when they ever re-do the Jay-K intersection?

Strikeslip said...

If that was NYSDOT's intent, I guess they won't be able to do so now without messing up some developer's plans or creating a traffic nightmare...