Saturday, June 21, 2014

A Ramp at Promenade Hill

Second Ward aldermen Tiffany Garriga and Abdus Miah seem to be vying to show which one of them is more committed to getting a ramp at Promenade Hill for people in wheelchairs and mothers with strollers. At a special meeting of the Common Council on June 9, Garriga was outspokenly unhappy when Bill Roehr of TGW Consultants explained that the grant application for alterations to the entrance to Promenade Hill, which would have included a ramp, had been postponed. The reason, as Roehr explained it, was that there was "a conflict between the goal of access and historic landscape treatment"--in other words, introducing a ramp without compromising the historic integrity of the park isn't a simple thing. 

At last Tuesday's Common Council meeting, after Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) introduced a resolution from the floor requesting the city attorney to FOIL state sales tax records in an effort to determine exactly how much state and county sales tax originates in Hudson, Miah proposed his own resolution, demanding immediate action to address the problem of access to Promenade Hill. Garriga suggested that the City lease a temporary metal ramp until a better solution could be found. Miah seemed to want $45,000 allocated to build a ramp, although the intended source of the funds was not clear. 

It was suggested by an audience member that the problem of access might be most simply solved by introducing a gate in the fence at the northern end of the park, which separates Promenade Hill from the northern half of Hudson Terrace. Council president Don Moore said that he had already approached Evergreen Partners with that idea, but they were unwilling to grant the City an easement to allow alternative access to the park from their property.

In the end, a resolution was crafted stating that the Common Council, the mayor, and the DPW superintendent would develop, within three months, a proposal for a handicapped ramp or some means of handicapped access to Promenade Hill. The resolution was unanimously passed in a voice vote.

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