Friday, April 19, 2013

Discussing Economic Development

Although there were several items on the agenda distributed at the Common Council Economic Development Committee on Thursday night, most of the discussion was focused on two topics: trucks and waterfront development, specifically the Dunn warehouse.

On the topic of trucks and the truck route, Common Council president Don Moore, who chairs the committee, began by saying that he wanted to reach some consensus about the goal: Was it partial rerouting or total rerouting? Moore also said that he wanted to keep the discussion of the state truck route through the city separate from the route of gravel trucks traveling between the quarry and the port. The sought-for consensus and segmentation both seemed elusive.

The discussion repeated many things that have been said before in the ongoing conversation about how the truck traffic devalues property, devalues people's lives, and damages the infrastructure. It wound up with Moore lamenting, "We keep getting incomplete information about what our options are." In the discussion, the best idea yet may have come from Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) who suggested that we lower the speed limit and add lots of bike paths to make the city "so unpleasant that truckers want to avoid it."

Although only the night before, the mayor had talked about "retail development on Water Street," Moore and the members of the committee seem to be moving away from the notion of "full-blown commercial development" along Water Street in favor of developing the former Dunn warehouse for some public purpose and using the remainder of the land along Water Street as park land. Several ideas were mentioned for the historic industrial building--an aquarium; a maritime museum, in conjunction with a winter home for the Half Moon; "something like Catskill has at Catskill Point." Moore spoke of the "culture of Hudson" and made the point that "whatever goes down there should reflect what we want Hudson to be."

When Alderman Ohrine Stewart (Fourth Ward) brought up the fact that the Council had written into the 2013 budget $300,000 in anticipated revenue from the sale of the Dunn warehouse, Moore reminded her that there were two properties that were to bring in that sum: the Dunn warehouse and the vacant lot at State and Fourth streets, currently being used as a parking lot. Friedman observed that "nobody's sniffing around the parking lot," to which Moore replied that the City has not gotten an appraisal on it yet.


  1. Don Moore got plenty of information about "what our options are." If he had simply respected the input he solicited from the citizens of Hudson, we would already have a completed LWRP and be on our way to a great waterfront. For reasons that we will never understand, Moore and the Council decided that the interests of the gravel industry were paramount, and everything else had to fall into place around that. Moore clearly does not understand and appreciate the titanic effort that citizens made between 1998-2005 to keep the nasty foreign entity know as Holcim from operating in our community.

  2. This cannot be serious. In a city that has no bicycle lanes we will consider putting cyclists in harms way to convince truckers to take alternate routes. What kind of convoluted thinking is that? Ask Council President if he would like to ride his bike on State Street. I think not.

    There is not room for bike lanes on State Street. There are well established guidelines for bike lane widths. The only places in Hudson that could accommodate bike lanes are those streets with curb parking. In those instances, the parking would have to be eliminated and replaced by the bike lanes.

    And... as the State of NY give bicyclist the exact rights and responsibilities as drivers of motor vehicles, a municipality may not force bicyclist to take specially designated routes.

  3. As much as I welcome the addition of parkland, the planning for the Water Street area had better keep future parking needs in mind.

    In the event that the state boat launch stays where it is, increased river use will call for more parking. Those rail-side lots are already receiving overflow from boat launch parking and events in the waterfront park.

    No one ever appreciates that the proposal to move the state boat launch calls for a new parking lot that's comparable in size or larger than the current one. That is the plan of the Holcim land transfer: another giant parking lot.

    One idea to ensure that the boat launch will have to be moved someday is to further restrict parking on Water Street today. That begins with closing Water Street's vacant lots to overflow parking.

    But if you just sell the idea as more "park," then people will fall all over themselves to rally behind the greater but invisible scheme.

    All of these issues are connected, and the inevitability of interconnected planning is fully anticipated by SEQRA.

    Conversely, every thoughtless hurry in this city ends badly and this will be no exception.

  4. November can't here quick enough.

    These people all gotta go.

    They just keep causing more damage and solve nothing.

    I hate paying my taxes for this stupefying incompetence

    and arrogance and all these back room deals.

  5. This should be about LEADERSHIP from the Common Council specifically Don Moore, and that will never happen because it hasn't happened yet. Why cannot the Common Council simply issue a law and then let oejctions get handled through the courts of every one else does? The new law might be Draconian, but let's get the precedents started. Hudson doesn't need to continually re-invent the wheel.

  6. I live on the truck route. It is a misery for us. The diesel soot eats our house. Lord knows what it does to our lungs. I see toddlers tumbling down the sidewalks, while enormous trucks roar by. Harleys with straight pipes pile up in the dozens on Green Street, revving their engines, while caught between the stop lights at Union Turnpike and Fairview. It is deafening and stressful. Those trying to sleep at night in our house have to wear ear plugs and are still often awakened around 5 am when the trucks start coming through. How safe it is to sleep with ear plugs? I guess we would hear if the fire or carbon monoxide alarm went off. And then there's the dangerous intersection where Green crosses Fairview, with traffic meeting head on as inbound traffic swerves to avoid colliding with the Green Street traffic waiting to make a turn onto Fairview. There will be loss of life there one day if nothing changes. And would it make sense to make Green Street one-way inbound, while outbound traffic takes Columbia/Columbia Turnpike, both roads meeting where there would be the two-way traffic on 23B at the old toll house? Seems like that might help a little with traffic and a lot with the dangerous intersection.