Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Shared Streets and the Tourism Board

Shared Streets 2021 is being overseen by the Tourism Board. The weekend before last, news of an online survey was distributed, which sought to gather feedback from members of the community as well as Warren Street businesses. At yesterday's special meeting of the Tourism Board, Tamar Adler reported on the results from the survey, but before she did she shared this discovery: 323 completed surveys had come from the same IP (internet protocol) address. Presumably all the responses from this source were negative. Adler said this was the first time since moving to Hudson that she felt angry and resentful. She told her colleagues on the board, "This is something that someone should be embarrassed and ashamed of."

Photo: JD Urban|Hudson Hall 

Discounting this attempt to "stuff the ballot box," Adler reported that the majority of the responses showed a preference for using parking spaces for businesses for spread out into the street and for closing the street to cars. The latter, however, is not going to happen. Adler also reported on a meeting about Shared Streets with Mayor Kamal Johnson and Council president Tom DePietro, during which Johnson and DePietro indicated they wanted to move forward with permitting to use parking spaces, but they wanted access to Warren Street to remain unchanged.

The Tourism Board is looking to hire a project manager for Shared Streets. Kate Treacy presented a trajectory for the job, proposing that it begin at the end of March and continue through the end of October, and the person doing the job should be paid $24,800. Part of the responsibility of the project manager would be to figure out how to slow traffic when a speed limit below 30 mph is not legally enforceable. 

Cece Graham worried that $24,800 might not be enough. "What if we could get someone amazing for a few thousand more?" she asked her colleagues. DePietro suggested that the resolution be written to indicate the project manager would be paid not more than $30,000, commenting, "Hudson Hall was getting this much, and what this person needs to do is much more than what they did."

The members of the Tourism Board voted unanimously to present the resolution to the Common Council, and it is expected to be on the agenda for tonight's Council meeting. Alderman Calvin Lewis (Third Ward), who chairs the Tourism Board, promised to post the results of the survey on the City of Hudson website "in the next 24 hours." To Gossips' knowledge, they have not been posted yet.

Update: The resolution authorizing the Tourism Board to hire a project manager is now on the City of Hudson website. Click here to review it.


  1. It will be interesting to see what unqualified person the Tourism board has given the job to .30K for what,& that's just the starters.

  2. Short of having volunteers and the project manager actually stand in both lanes of Warren Street, good luck forcing drivers to slow down.

    B Huston

  3. In Mexico, speed bumps are called "sleeping policemen." It wouldn't cost much for the city to purchase a few removable rubber or plastic speed bumps. Put a couple on every block, and drivers will slow down.

  4. If the pork-barrel projects approved by this iteration of the Tourism Board and their eleventh-hour approach to Shared Streets this year are any indication, disaster looms. This resolution was created last night at a 'special meeting' and the Common Council hasn't even had a full day to consider the expenditure (not that the vague wording invites much consideration.)

    It would make little sense for the Common Council to approve this resolution before they have a chance to see what information, if any, can be gleaned from the half-ass survey sent out to (some) residents and businesses. A special meeting can always be called to approve or modify this resolution in a few weeks once the particulars of the project manager role (and the Shared Streets endeavor) are fleshed out.

    The Council can ill afford another fiasco like the recent police reporting resolution that needed so much reworking because no one did their homework. Moreover, the small businesses that make up the backbone of our local economy deserve better than this Amateur Hour Karaoke version of an economic recovery project. (Though, to be fair, we do have a special stage just for that now...somewhere.)

  5. Maybe the work could be divided up by the members of the common council, the common council president, and the mayor's aide. (At least they would be doing something to justify the city paying them $100K+ to show up (unprepared) for a few meetings each month). Perhaps they could also throw rocks at tourists, anyone who has moved to Hudson in the past ten years, folks getting off the trains on summer Fridays, along with cars with out-of-state plates. It would all line up with the anti-tourism stance of the tourism board and the common council. But alas- likely all that will happen is a completely unqualified person- who is a good friend of someone on the tourism board will be given the job- and there will be a lot of discussion about survey methodology and potentially paying the project manager more.

  6. The following comment was submitted by email, to clarify a statement made by Tom DePietro during the Tourism Board meeting:

    Hudson Hall is happy that a Project Manager is being hired to run Shared Streets 2021, and hope this can be done quickly, as it will aid the process greatly.

    For the record, Hudson Hall was happy to assist with the pilot program of Shared Streets. We were paid a total of $9,007.32 for managing and marketing Shared Streets in 2020. All other costs were direct reimbursements for expenses incurred.

    Hudson Hall also received a $15,000 grant from the Tourism Board to support our summer Workforce Development program, which cost a total of $35,262 and was extended an additional 4 weeks from the 7 weeks in our original plan. Local teens received job training and education in urban planning, and were paid through the summer and fall to be Shared Streets Ambassadors. They were instrumental to the success of Shared Streets 2020, thank you Ambassadors! In addition to the Tourism Board, we would like to thank our partner Elena Mosley and Operation Unite NY, as well as the CGCC’s Youth Employment and Training Program and the CEDC for making that happen.

    Sage Carter
    Hudson Hall