Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Utica Needs a Vision . . . But Not This One . . .

Per WKTV, the state has decided to put the arterial OVER Court Street and then have some grade level crossings. According to Mr. Zywiak of the State DOT:
"I think we have an opportunity with the Brewery District," Zywiak said. "What's happening at Munson Williams, the Stanley, to try and facilitate easier access to all these major developments that the city is trying to progress."
I think the only thing the State is listening to are the "movers and shakers" in New Hartford who want "easier access" to what they like in Utica, but who could care less about the City of Utica.

As I blogged a year ago . . .
"Here are pictures of Court Street taken today, and how it might look with an overpass added.

court st now court st 2012

This will, for sure, reduce the redevelopment potential of this part of West Utica, if not eliminate it altogether.
As I indicated last year, the State has not been entirely upfront with the public on these plans. I'm sure that many suspected that an overpass (with no depressed highway) was the plan all along, and all the public meetings were just for show. This blogger e-mailed those involved with the decision making and did not even receive the courtesy of an acknowledgment (just to show that they were never serious about public input).

West Utica is already having a problem rehabilitating itself . . . cutting off more streets and creating an eyesore will be the final nail in the coffin.

The State could care less about Utica . . . the only thing it is interested in is fixing things ON THE CHEAP. Are you aware of the State's Hazardous Waste Landfill located within view of Downtown Utica? I hope to blog about that in coming weeks. It was something that literally took place under the noses of city officials . . . but you did not hear about it. These are examples of the State creating roadblocks to Utica's rehabilitation . . . and Utica officials being oblivious to what is happening under their noses. An overpass is a 20th century idea that other cities are abandoning.

WILL THE CITY OF UTICA'S MAYOR AND COUNCIL TAKE A STAND?

11 comments:

onjeesun said...

The saying is "couldn't care less". If you could care less then that means you care to a high enough level where there is room for less caring.

Sorry - pet peeve.

Anonymous said...

State officials have said they might construct the new North-South Arterial viaduct west of the existing bridge, but it's unknown whether nearby buildings could be avoided or would have to be purchased and razed.

Utica Mayor David Roefaro said he didn't believe there would be too many properties in the way of the bridge replacement, should the DOT determine to move it west of the current viaduct.

“If it makes it a viable project, then I'm sure if there's anyone in those buildings we can relocate them,” he said.

The mayor agreed elevating the arterial over Court Street would be the best option for motorists and pedestrian safety as well as ease congestion, which is one of the project's goals.

Mrs Mecomber said...

Hey Strike, what do you think of Rome becoming the "hub" for the county. I heard a news story that another company was "most likely" going to open shop up there. Rome seems to have fewer ingrained problems than Utica, and is also right in the middle of the county.

Of course, none of this should mean that we throw Utica to the developer dogs...

Strikeslip said...

If it is meant to be that Rome is to be the "hub" for oneida county, then so be it ... but I do not think that Greater Utica should be made to pay to make Rome the hub.

Utica is still the hub of the Utica-Rome Metropolitan Statistical Area which consists of Oneida and Herkimer Counties combined -- and it is geographically right in the middle of them (Anyone want to combine Oneida and Herkimer Counties? We have a ton of County Government here (and a jail) that is begging to be shared with its neighbors to the east.)

Greens and Beans said...

Speaking of pet peeves . . .

Will wonders never cease? How would elevating the North South arterial over Court Street provide easier access to the Brewery district? The highway is already elevated over one end of the brewery district being Verick Street. And now the State is proposing to elevate the highway over the opposite end of the brewery district being Court Street. This is like saying that they are making it easier to get to the carwash by blocking off the driveway.

Strikeslip said...

Anonymous said: "The mayor agreed elevating the arterial over Court Street would be the best option for motorists and pedestrian safety as well as ease congestion, which is one of the project's goals."

Why should the mayor be satisfied with *just* motorist and pedestrian safety? The ORIGINAL "Boulevard" concept also was to satisfactorily address motorist and pedestrian safety while keeping grade level crossings -- but it might slow traffic down a bit. While that may be a problem for people in a hurry to go from New Hartford to the Thruway, why is that a problem for Utica?

All of West Utica is ripe for redevelopment, but cutting off access to the street grid with DOT's current proposal will basically cut off the opportunity to redevelop. How is this good for UTICA?

Anonymous said...

Sure cutting off Court Street would hurt whats left of West Utica. A good solution would be to tunnel the pedestrians under Court Street.

What a waste of money if when they redo the bridge to elevate that stretch of road. They were talking around $40 million?? Thats almost the cost of Rt. 840

Anonymous said...

Rome should be the new hub. They even have a Chamber of Commerce!

Anonymous said...

People used to slam Rome. I shop there as much as I could. Look at all the new development. Retail, Housing. Rome sure has come a long was vs. Utica.

Strikeslip said...

Excellent Point, Greens & Beans! What is proposed will not make access to the Brewery District easier . . . and that is why state talk implying that it is helping Utica's revitalization is only a ruse. The DOT is only interested in getting vehicles through Utica as quickly and safely as possible . . . It has no responsibility or interest in revitalizing Utica . . . and that is why Utica officials must not stay mute.

onjeesun said...

The real pet peeve for me is wasting millions on "fixing" something that isn't even a big problem to begin with. That money would be better spent elsewhere. While some might say it's the DOT that is footing the bill, we all know it's our tax money to begin with. Same pants - different pocket. How about some fiscal responsibility for a change! My personal budget keeps getting squeezed tighter and tighter yet projects like this go unchallenged. Instead of debating which is the best option why not debate doing it at all. If it is to be done, I say go back to the blvd option.