Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Assaults On Utica's Streets!!!!

And I mean that literally . . . The assaults are on the streets themselves!  Everyone (all levels of government that is) wants a piece of Utica's streets!

The State hopes to close Sunset Ave. and Warren St. at the Arterial, and reroute Lincoln Ave. over Roberts St. for its Federally funded Arterial Project.

The City has approved closing a block of Charlotte St. to install a bus transfer facility of questionable need (other than to spend Federal money).

Now the County is resurrecting its "Terror from the Year 2007" to re-propose closing Park Avenue between John and Blandina Streets to create a surface parking lot.

Apparently government officials are not going to stop until Utica is in gridlock . . .

Park Avenue, a great example of 19th century urban street design,  was intended to serve as the bypass of downtown for all traffic going to and coming from the streets to the east.  Although part of this function was lost when its northern end was chopped off and incorporated into the E-W Arterial, the remainder still serves that function... which function has recently been improved by the Oneida Square Roundabout that gives an easier connection for traffic coming up Genesee St. from the south. 

The notion that streets can be closed without causing problems must go away.  As pointed out a few days ago, one cut-off can can change a simple no-turns trip into a 5-turn frustration. . . . This can affect routing decisions for traffic coming from miles away.  People will avoid coming into Utica if they feel they are being forced into a maze.

Utica needs to become more like an Apple . . . an Apple product.  Apple became a very successful company because its products are simple -- intuitive -- to use.

Utica's street system needs to be simple and intuitive to use.

Utica's old street grid used to be simple and intuitive to use.  Instead of taking more pieces out of it, maybe its time to start restoring it.  You might be surprised at some of the problems that it could solve.  


Anonymous said...

oh come on...

gridlock on Utica's streets? really?

people avoiding Utica because of a traffic maze? really?

People avoid Utica because it is a dump. The streets are goatpaths and the stench of corruption is everywhere. The majority of its housing appears as slums. Its newspaper stinks and its people are generally rude.

This comes from an outsider. This is what one sees. You may not like it, but that is the perception. Trust me.

Anonymous said...

As far as I'm concerned, the present Arterial plans to make it much faster and closing out the majority of all the Traffic Lights needed to go into West Utica are just fine. Who in their right mind wants to travel into a crime infested area which is even worst than Cornhill. There are no businesses in West Utica that calls for us to shop at. As far as making the side street at the County Bldg. a parking lot, also sounds good to me. Has anyone actually found a parking space around the County Bldg. without driving round and round for at least 1/2 hour when they have to take care of a business appointment at this bldg?

Anonymous said...

I agree with both comments, Utica need to get passed itself and move forward, enough already with the politicians that like hearing themselves speak. Change is needed and progress is good , time to move on.

D Naegele said...

It's no wonder that the city has such a reputation with pessimistic people too cowardly to put their names in front of their comments making disparaging posts about my home town.

There are many businesses in W Utica well worth visiting and shopping at. Pulaski Meat Market, comes to mind, along with many others along Varick St as well as Court St and up on the Highlands.

Folks with the attitudes expressed by our "anonymous" friends only need to use the arterial ONCE and that would be to carry their sorry butts out of the city that they hold in such low esteem.

Given a choice, I would reside in the West End before I would buy property in East Utica. Real estate might not be as high end, but the majority of the people are genuine and love their community. Above all they deserve to be left to live in peace without cutting them off from the rest of the city.

It is simply ignorant to claim that there are no businesses that are worth shopping at. W Utica is one of the ONLY areas of the city that is progressing and showing any enthusiasm for the future with the Irish Cultural Center and other things.

Anonymous said...

Putting a name on a post does not change the perception of your dreadful pot hole filled city. It is what it is. And to make it worse, your new mayor says he is going to cut the paving budget. Nuts.

Anonymous said...

Strike is right on target - larger cities with far more traffic are reconsidering their freeways and, in some instances, removing them. One need only look to San Francisco which removed not one but two busy highways and replaced them with boulevards - Octavia Boulevard (highway 101) and rebuilding the embarcadero (after the removal of I 480).

Closing Park Ave is ridiculous proposition - Half of downtown is a parking lot. Some folks require parking at the front door - which is afforded by having a verified ADD tag or license plate. The rest of us can use the exercise of walking a few blocks from various parking lots and garages sprinkled around downtown.

A city's Visual character is formed by its streets and the buildings that line them. Needlessly cutting a street tears the urban fabric and destroy the clear logic of the city plan.

Utica is a small town - even without the arterial you can still get across town in 30 minutes or less. Some days It takes an hour to get from San Francisco to Oakland - which can be done in 15 minutes in good traffic.

Freeways, who needs them?

Anonymous said...

If Palmieri & the council bow down to this idiocy proposed by Picente, then we'll know who's pulling their strings-Picente.

Anonymous said...

To Naegle, your own message board doesn't require that members gives their identities, so your reasoning is baseless.

And I don't think that visitors are going to flock to Utica for home made baloney made over at Pulaski's.

Utica is a dump. Period. And the only thing that is going to save it is a mass infusion of federal dollars to save it's infracture before it's too late. Of course, your conservative mind set won't allow you to admit that the federal govt. must play a role in rebuilding cities such as Utica where local taxpayer's just can't carry the burden of rebuilding an infracture that has been neglected for decades.

Cuomo is handing out $62 million dollars in economic development funds while area streets & sewers crumble beneath us. And local leaders wring their hands in anticipation of the graft to come. It's pathetic.

Strikeslip said...

To Anonymous above, Utica is not a dump. It is home for a lot of people... What you call a dump is all they can afford.

Why should THEIR convenience be sacrificed for YOUR convenience?

Anonymous said...

Putting a silk hat on a pig don't make it pretty. Varick St. is a ghost town most nites, even weekends. If Utica ain't a dump, it'll do 'till one comes along.

RPP said...

City planners made terrible mistakes over the decades in not maintaining the thoughtful and functional ebb and flow of city streets. Neighborhoods were isolated, destroyed in a neighborhood sense and commerce killed. It seems that those runnung the state and city of Utica have not learned any lessons at all and will continue to destroy the design of the City as laid out by those much smarter. It is tragic. It is also a sin that city politicians would allow those who simply visit the city during the day to work and then retreat to the burbs and Rome redesign a Utica they are sworn to protect. Roefaro's conduct is a stark reminder of the failure of leadership in Utica.

Observer from afar said...

All three of these proposals are unfortunate, backyard thinking, and destructive. Can anyone really be buying these obsolete, economy-killing, anti-revitalization projects?

The most unbelievable of the three is the bus transfer station. I am not even sure what a bus transer station is though I live in NYC where there are lots of buses. To destroy more downtown streets and demolish more downtown buildings for a project like this is deplorable. If money must be spent and made, why not spend part of it on new, modern, sustainable bus shelters for the entire city? And the rest could fund a study of how to make Utica walkable again (pedestrian friendly).

Closing Park Avenue and putting in a new surface parking lot is the stupidest of the three. Parking is not the problem in downtown Utica. Bad planning and an unwillingness to walk any distance (except at the mall) are the real culprits here. All those existing, empty, surface parking lots are signs that downtown real estate is valueless. Why not build parking garages on existing surface parking lots? Then take other surface parking lots and make them into parks or gardens or build buildings on them? Just don't tear down any more of Utica.

The trend today is that Americans are leaving the suburbs to move back into cities. They are looking for walkable, livable cities in which to live and work. Utica has become dumpy, sad to say, but it still has the potential to build on its past and regenerate itself. Each of these three projects, if allowed to proceed in their current states, will destroy a large chunk of that potential.

Anonymous said...

Closing Park Ave. is a good example of the lame brained ideas that have turned Utica into what it is today. For how much longer is the County going to suck Utica dry before citizens wise up? If Picente need more parking, then that's his problem. Why should Utica lose one it's main streets because county employees have to walk a couple blocks to work? This proposal first came up 5 years ago. What have county planners & Picente been doing all this time to address the parking issue? Obviously nothing.

Strikeslip said...

Here is the SOLUTION to the County Parking Problem: CHARGE $35/MONTH-the same as City of Utica lots charge. A lot of State employees are paying this to Park at Union-Blandina Lot (only 1/2 block from the County Office Bldg) and there are still spaces available.

D Naegele said...

To the person that addresses "to Naegele" My only comment is that Clipper's Busy Corner is an entirely different format. This is a very informative and well written blog. Clipper's Corner was founded simply to take the place of the OD forums when they deleted the discussion forum from their site. Proboards message boards and Blogspot blogs are two different things completely. As for it being "my own" message board, you have been a member there long enough to know that I am simply the admin that opened the account. My seldom used "control" or moderation is hardly an issue of concern to anyone that posts there.

I don't understand your remarks about my conservative mindset being an issue when it comes to the arterial proposal. I don't think I have said anything about federal involvement or made any remarks as to any liberal mindset in the handling of the issue.

I guess if you are trying to engage me in any argument you probably should take it to the other forum.

My only assessment of your opinions posted above is that your remark about home made baloney and Pulaski Meat Market is pretty myopic and narrow minded. It shows me that your lack of concern for local family owned business and for the residents of the West end makes you part of the ongoing problem and not a positive contributor to any solution. Sadly too many people hold those pessimistic opinions about the city. It serves only to further the decline and does nothing to promote recovery or revitalization.

The subject being discussed is vital to the future of people and business in W Utica. In hindsight I am sorry I expressed my opinion concerning making disparaging remarks from behind the screen name "anonymous." I apologize to those that DON'T use it as a hiding place.

Strikeslip, I will understand fully if you find the exchange not appropriate or productive to be posted to the blog. Negativity when it comes to important issues such as this simply light a flame under me.

Anonymous said...

The very idea that a huge sum of federal money will ever be available to transform Utica's infrastructure is shallow. Utica is one very small city of a nation of many cities. There is absolutely no chance of Utica receiving but relatively tiny amounts of federal aid for any reason. Even in the heyday of Boehlert, the area got peanuts.Now the feds are also broke. The problem is that for decades Utica did not prioritze and wasted tens of millions on projects without merit instead of investing in its infrastructure. It is now too late to "catch up." That is the legacy of poor leadership both politically and otherwise.Finally, I love the county related comments. Utica voters have constantly voted in those who helped destroy the city including Picente. The only reason seems to be voter stupidity in voting and not voting at all.

Anonymous said...

To Anon. above, I agree. How much taxpayer $$$ has been wasted on the chip plant pipe dream while the sewers collapse beneath us? What company is going to build a billion dollar chip plant in an area where the sewer/road system is in the state of disrepair that Oneida County's is in? And how many taxpayer's dollars have been wasted on the newfangled airport in Rome? The taxpayer subsidised airplane repair facility located there has had a series of layoffs recently, but the news media either ignores the story or is oblivious to what is going on. If that company makes it thru the end of 2012 it will be a miracle. But the county continues to throw money at this white elephant.

Anonymous said...

The entire airport with no commercial or cargo flights is a significant drain on taxpayer dollars from the feds down to Oneida County.But,evidently the local taxpayer does not mind spending millions per year on a non functioning airport. One wonders how many people even realize what a shell it is? Of course with only 31% of registered voters voting in the last county election, it is clear not many care about anything their government does. And, we wonder why the smart one leave?