Thursday, August 12, 2010

TEAR DOWN THE UPTOWN CANOPY

I see an article in the Freeman regarding the uptown sidewalk canopy and the bid proposals going out. I anxiously await to see how many contractors in the area are willing to tackle the repair of the "Pike Plan" for the 1.6 million that's offered.

September 13th is the deadline. What happens if the bids that come in, if any, are higher than what has been allotted? If you consider the repair work to the historic buildings that is hidden behind decades of neglect and tar patch, the cost is going to increase dramatically.
As I have said before, there is a non-historic structure attached to historic buildings that is causing harm to those buildings with more than half of the building owners asking for the structure to be removed.

Sue Cah
ill from the City Planners Office, said “Hopefully, with these improvements and the upgrade it will entice more business to locate in the Uptown business district and rejuvenate the economy of Uptown.” No disrespect, but I would have to disagree, but she has to follow the talking points of those who are pushing the repair project.

Alderman Hoffay, on the other hand, is not beholden to anyone or any entity, so his advocacy for the canopy repair is strictly his own initiative. It's still wrong!
He thinks: “The investment of over $1.6 million for the restoration of the Pike Plan and accompanying streetscape work will attract additional tourism and interest for our shops, restaurants and historic attractions.” I think the property and business owners have to make their own changes at the street level to alter the steady decline of walking business.

The bids are available at city hall. Does that mean only those who happen to read the local papers will know where to find the package or have we sent out additional copies to companies across the state? I don't think the bid should be limited to just those in the area because I suspect most couldn't do the job for the amount offered. I'm just sayin.

Some history noted in the Freeman... The Pike Plan was named after Woodstock artist John Pike, who designed the canopies and oversaw their construction in the 1970s.

When this push to upgrade the canopy began back in 2004, the original consultant offered the most honest proposal to date. They said tear down the structure, repair the historic buildings, return the original streetscape and get the trees back in the curb line.
With 28 parking spaces consumed by tree boxes and tempting double parking all day, the busted up boxes create more mayhem than good. So I would have to agree with that original assumption.

I dont hear other uptown property & business owners clamoring for a new canopy over their storefronts. Ask in any direction from the ends of the existing one and you'll hear a profound "NO". This money could have been redirected to a larger project, like a parking garage on North Front Street.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Way to go Alderman Madsen. You tell 'em!

Seriously Mike, shouldn't you paying more attention to things like removing the funding for services for children who are the victims of DV? Here you are worrying about a canopy on private buildings and essential funding for critical services is being yanked from the budget right under your nose.

Instead of carrying Mike Spada's message (I'll bet Jeanette was glad to see you take over), pay attention to what you are elected to do, oversee the county. If you still want to take care of Kingston government, you should have stayed on the council.

Anonymous said...

I rather like having Legislator Madsen's take on issues within the City as well as throughout the county. There was a time when he was asked to Blog about issues just within Ward Nine. Now wouldnt that be exciting.

Mike, you're perspective as a newly elected Legislator lets us see some of what fresh eyes may discover in what has been an old boys club for a long time. If you want to comment on issues in the City of Kingston, feel free. If people don't like it, they can read one of the other blogs and get nothing of significance about Kingston.

Carl

Anonymous said...

Transparent as glass. Madsen is running for Mayor, mark it down.

Anonymous said...

If I could add to what Carl said, I dont see too many Blogs from other elected anythings. Andi Turco does a little, Auerbach dabbles a bit and Sweeney throws something out there once in a blue moon. The crazy idea that someone would publish their thoughts online on a daily basis is too costly for most of the politicians out there. I may not agree with everything you put out there, but I admire your honest dialog with us readers.

Anonymous said...

There is no place for customers to park free - uptown is dead in the water. Nice planning?

Anonymous said...

Wasn't this originally a response to the building of indoor malls?

Anonymous said...

An old article on the Chronic:

http://www.hvchronic.com/volume_2/no_3/002_003_001_Pike_Plot.html

Anonymous said...

From what Ive heard, this is the last one of the thousands that were built in the US in the late 60's & early 70's. Yes it was an attempt to hold onto name brand stores when the malls were taking over, but the trend had already set and we lost our national and local icons to the Kings Mall first and then the HVM.

The final blow was the closing of Woolworths on Wall St. Even the Kingston Plaza couldnt keep Sears for long.

Currently, the street level shops have mortgage brokers, real estate, Insurance and lawyers in them. A few boutiques mixed in with the restaurants wont keep the locals in the area because everything else closes at 4:30. Such a shame. Uptown's problems can only be solved by changing how uptown's merchants and property owners do business. Simple.
I dont see any effort by government being successful until there are draws to uptown for locals to visit and shop after 4:30.

Anonymous said...

See Saratoga, they lured them back.

Jeremiah said...

I agree with 7:53

When I go uptown it is usually for a predetermined purpose. I pay the stupid meter, and when I am walking through uptown the stupid time left on the meter is in the back of my head. Kind of defeats the whole browsing or impulse shopping because you are always in a hurry.

Dump the meters and I will bring an umbrella.

Anonymous said...

I concur, please tear down the canopy. Hoffay is wrong, Sue Cahill is wrong, it would be so much nicer without canopy and dumb, preposterous "flower" squares with trees growing in them!

Anonymous said...

This whole plan is a mess. The planters are overgrown and falling apart. The sidewalks are on even and creating tripping hazards and lawsuits against the City. Just one big mess like the rest of the city.

Anonymous said...

Don't you know you can't do anything at night Uptown? It is a Sottile rule, all events must be within shouting distance of the Rondout Creek, it is the only place in Kingston worth investing in.

Anonymous said...

Isn't traffic study suppossed to change pattern of streets? Is there a plan?

Anonymous said...

Phooey on the damn canopy!!.Like a previous post: this was only considered to save uptown from the defection to the malls. But now that malls are in trouble why would we want to align ourselves with that?? We have such wonderful architecture on that street that is unique in it's own right. Plus it would lighten up the whole street to do away with the wooden canopy. I would go with roll up canopies when it rains like in the old days as long as the canopies were of a singular tasteful design. Get rid of those humping sidewalks,sickly trees. and so called flower boxes that usually get used as a trash can. Put in trees that adapt to city life and benches for the walking public.

Anonymous said...

11:52
What does Mike Spada have to do with the canopies or Mike Madsen making a comment about it?
Why so concerned what Mike thinks?
You know the issue here should be that every uptown businessman is struggling with thier taxes, are tired of watching every vacant builidng become another low income free for all, and thier streets in front of thier businesses filled with people, not contributing to anything.
Why is it that Mike wanting more for his tax dollar becomes an issue for you?
In case you werent aware, Mike closed his business uptown, and most of his properties are vacant since no one wants to pay the rent he demands so he can cover his tax bills and still make a living.
Wouldnt you want your gov to make the front of your building more attractive to prospective renters?
I suggest you get a horse in the race before you spat off at the mouth about someone who actually invested in this city, and has tried to keep his properties out of the hands of the low income filth this this govenrment promotes.
Should we crucify this man because we wants better for himself and his city?

Rebecca Martin said...

Great post. Thanks, Mike.