Friday, November 11, 2011

Transfer This . . .

In the Building for Building's sake department: Bus Transfer facility .

Bus ridership -- and downtown traffic -- had their zenith about 50 years ago when Utica had a population of 100,000 and a thriving commercial center.  No bus transfer facility was needed then.

It's not needed now.

What would have made this project worthwhile to pursue would have been the parking garage that was originally proposed.  But that has been left out.

What this does is close another street to traffic.  Granted, Charlotte Street does not have a lot of traffic most times  . . . but it does handle some traffic during evening rush trying to get from the Union-Blandina lot to Bleecker-Lafayette Streets to go East and West.  Closing it off only forces traffic to go farther out of its way -- increasing the inconvenience of navigating through Downtown.  Forcing people to drive farther to accomplish what should be simple movements has been a contributor  to the decline of Downtown over the last 50 years. (Note: Charlotte Street used to connect Steuben Park with Oriskany St E. and, with Park Ave., was formerly an important bypass of busy Genesee St. ...  Here's an idea: Knock down the County Office Building and reconnect Blandina Street with itself!)

At least with a parking garage, the inconvenience would have been balanced by more parking which most people acknowledge is needed at this location ... Early concepts included small store fronts which could help re-establish Bleecker as a street for small retail operations.

As this project stands now, it fulfills only an academic need that does not really exist. It takes more property out of private hands and puts it in public... creates a gap in commercial development . . . and it causes further disruption to the street grid.

It has become merely an excuse to spend Federal dollars, with little real return for the taxpayers.


Keith said...

I'm sure I mentioned somewhere that we could save a lot by purchasing a copy of Sim City to install on one of the computers at city hall.

Anonymous said...

You are correct Strikeslip. Rome has a facility such as that in one of the parking garages. It works well and allows people to transfer from one bus to another, as well as catch buses for Utica and Syracuse, while waiting in a climate controlled waiting room rather than outdoors.

That would be great in Utica, but as you say, it is an expensive project to build as a free standing building, rather than incorporating it into a parking structure. For what little ridership there is in Utica in late years, it is a total waste of funding.

Seems like one more hit or miss project just to use grant money while it is available. That mentality is what is bankrupting the country as well as the cities.

Anonymous said...

So does this mean that the any bus that currently runs through Union Station wont be going there anymore?

Strikeslip said...

I don't think this plan changes anything regarding buses that go to Union Station. It is simply meant to make the convergence of bus routes in the Busy Corner area a more comfortable place where people can make transfers.

Anonymous said...

tremendously overdesigned and overblown at $6.2 million, a little more than half of what the whole project (including the parking garage) was supposed to cost..................and, as you said, with little in the way of return.