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?