Two years ago, in 2011, the City of Hudson applied for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) to install a handicapped ramp at Promenade Hill. The plans for the project, which were developed by Morris Associates, carried a price tag of $279,111.90. The grant application was not successful. Some who worry about the integrity of the design of what is probably the oldest public urban green space in the country to be set aside with the expressed purpose of viewing the landscape breathed a sigh of relief, because it was never clear what the ramp would look like.
The topic of the ramp at Promenade Hill came up on Wednesday night at the Common Council Public Works Committee meeting. It seems there is still a commitment to building the ramp and thoughts of appropriating money for it in the 2014 city budget. DPW superintendent Rob Perry expressed the opinion that DPW employees could do the work and the project would cost much less than the amount written into the grant application. He pointed out, however, that Morris Associates had created no design drawings or elevations. The grant application included only this rendering.
Oddly, the blue and red bullseye at the center of this rather confusing rendering, is not, according to a footnote that appears below it, part of the proposed project: "The reviewer should be aware that the water feature illustrated on the conceptual plan is not incorporated into the CDBG request." (There's also a sculpture garden in the rendering, but no footnote to say that's not part of the request.)
The rendering shows an ADA ramp, with a square configuration, south of the current entrance to Promenade Hill, which leads to the top of the first set of stairs, and a second ramp north of the entrance, along the retaining wall behind the playground. It is this second ramp that the City wants to pursue on its own without grant funding. Council president Don Moore pointed out on Wednesday that it is already possible to get to the level of the playground without climbing stairs. The ramp would enable people in wheelchairs and parents with children in strollers to ascend the rest of the way to the historic Georgian parade and enjoy the views of the river and the mountains.
COPYRIGHT 2013 CAROLE OSTERINK