Upcoming . . .


Open House- Hector St Complete Street Project

City of Ithaca staff and consulting engineers will host a public open house style meeting for The Hector Street Complete Street Project on Monday, May 7, 2018 from 4pm to 6pm in the cafeteria of Lehman Alternative Community School at 402 Chestnut St, Ithaca, NY. The open house will showcase the current draft proposals for the corridor that were developed based on the City’s grant application, which was awarded by the NYS DOT in June 2017.  Erdman Anthony, consultant engineers, are currently working on an updated plan that will be presented at the public meeting.

The study area covers the portion of Hector Street (also known as Route 79), from Floral Avenue (Rt 13A) to 500 feet past the City/Town boundary line. Improvements to pedestrian conditions intend to connect to an existing path at Linderman Creek Apartments. The proposed goals are to extend the current sidewalk along the street, to enhance conditions for bicyclists, and to add 2 bus shelters along the corridor.

In addition, The City of Ithaca Engineering Office is soliciting public comment on the draft design report which is posted in the link below. Written comments can be submitted to Johnathan Licitra at JLicitra@cityofithaca.org, hand delivered, or mailed to the Engineering Office in City Hall, 108 East Green Street. Comments will be accepted until May 30, 2018.

Hector Street Complete Street Project

The City of Ithaca has received $1,400,000 in federal funding assistance for a $1,700,000 project to enhance pedestrian, bicycling, and bus conditions and to improve safety along Hector Street (Rt. 79) between Floral Avenue and 500 feet past the City line towards Linderman Creek Apartments.  Key goals of this project include:

  1. Connect to the existing Hector Street sidewalk and constructing 4,100 linear feet of new sidewalk
  2. Create an uphill bike lane along Hector Street
  3. Establish 2 enhanced bus stops at Warren Place and North Taylor Place
  4. Enhance walking and bicycling conditions throughout the corridor—including across municipal boundaries via a cost-sharing agreement with the Town of Ithaca
  5. Improve traffic safety in the vicinity via select infrastructure investments in curbing, stormwater pipes, retaining walls, and street lighting

These funds were made available from the Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation Alternatives Program and are administered by the New York State Department of Transportation. The funds cover 80 percent of the cost of each project, with the remaining 20 percent coming from the project sponsor. Final engineering is scheduled for 2018 and construction is scheduled for Winter and Spring 2019.

Hector Street Complete Street Project Draft Scoping Report / Final Design Report

For more information, contact Johnathan Licitra, Sidewalk Program Manager, 274-6534.

West Hill Clean-Up

Hello neighbors,

This year’s West Hill Clean Up Day is on Saturday, April 28, 2018.

Everyone is invited to participate, and to encourage that, I have received gift certificates from several West-end businesses to give out as prizes for participating. Businesses include (but are not limited to) Maxie’s, Rasa Spa, Taste of Thai Express and Agway.

Not all the details are worked out, but tentatively: people may meet ahead of time to have a snack and get organized (I am trying to arrange to get a room at LACS for this), post odd finds and other shenanigans to a Facebook Page during the day, and then possibly gather afterwards at a local business.

As with past years, trash bags will be available at several locations and can be left on the side of the road, where they will be picked up and hauled to the dump by George McGonigal. If participation is sufficient, I would like to organize people to focus on the major West Hill arteries (rt 96, rt 79, Elm St and Floral Ave).

Stay tuned for more details!
Lloyd Graves.

NY 79 Bridge Discussion on the Radio

Greg Perreault and Genie Herme were on WRFI radio this past week to talk about their misgivings on the State/Hector bridge changes. The audio is available here:


State and Brindley Meeting

Tim_LogueThe turnout wasn’t big, but participation was high at the public information meeting regarding the rebuilding of the Brindley Street bridge and the revisions on the State/MLK bridge over the flood control channel. Tim Logue (the city’s transportation engineer) explained what was on the table and the preliminary planning that has been done. Roughly, the favored course seems to be, said Tim, to transform the Brindley St bridge to bike/ped use and build a new bridge to align Taughannock Blvd with Taber Street. As part of the changes, the four lanes on the main bridge would be reduced to make room for more comfortable pedestrian and bicyclist use. Special consideration is being given to provide ways for pedestrians to cross State/MLK not only safely, but without undue anxiety about traffic.

Dave Nutter clarifying his suggestion for a protected bike/ped path

Dave Nutter clarifying his suggestion for a protected bike/ped path

Several attendees expressed reservations about reducing the number of lanes on the State/MLK bridge as well as to the effect of changes on what is seen as needed growth in traffic, particularly traffic by large trucks. Local businesses depend on this. There were others who felt that non-motorists’ needs were unmet in that area, and that motorists would be asked to sacrifice little or nothing in order to create safe foot and bike passage.

Tim Logue said that he would be able to compile quick responses to the questions and suggestions raised during the meeting so that we can maintain an ongoing conversation toward the best solutions for everyone.

First Ward alderperson George McGonigal offering comments and questions

First Ward alderperson George McGonigal offering comments and questions

This is just scribbled from my so-called memory so that our community website can have the event recorded and so that we have a point on which to comment further. Please add any corrections, amplifications, etc.


Public Art Commission Meeting

February 24, 2016
2nd Floor Conference Room, City Hall
4:00-6:00 PM

  1. Additions or Deletions to the Agenda
  2. Announcements
  3. Public Comment – 3 minutes per person
  4. Approval of Minutes – January 27, 2016
  5. Ithaca Festival’s Proposed Art in Glow Project
  6. Updates
    1. CAP Public Art Mural Project
    2. 2016 Electrical Boxes Project
    3. Proposed Ordinance Change to Membership Requirements
    4. PAC Working Session
    5. Centennial Art Program Trust Fund
  7. Q&A with Potential New Members
  8. Next Meeting – March 23, 2016
  9. Adjournment

First Ward Update

Dear fellow First Warders

Greetings.  I hope the new year is treating you well so far.
I am checking in to provide a brief and by no means comprehensive update about what is going on around town and in the First Ward…
    A meeting for residents of the Stone Quarry / Spencer Rd. / South Meadow St. neighborhood will convene soon to discuss potential traffic calming and re-alignment options.  The meeting is tentatively set for February 11th, at 6 pm at the church on South Meadow St.  City traffic engineers and Common Council reps will be there.
I will let everyone know as soon as the time and place is confirmed.
On the west side of the First Ward, a number of changes, large and small, are in the works.
Two vacant houses on Cliff St., 235 and 207, are going to be torn down. It is not known what will rise in their place.
There are plans moving forward to replace and perhaps relocate the Brindley St. bridge, and to realign Brindley St. itself.  Public outreach is planned for the near future but has not yet been scheduled.
Traffic patterns on West State St./ MLK Jr. St are also being studied for a possible change that would reduce the number of lanes for automobiles from 4 to 3, and widen the space for pedestrians and bicycles.  This potential project will also seek plenty of public input.  Dates and times for the first meetings will be announced soon.
On South Hill, I suspect that many residents are talking about the fact that Campus Advantage has apparently withdrawn its revised, scaled-down proposal for the Trebloc site at the east end of the Commons.
I am curious to know what people think about this turn of events.  I am also wondering how people feel about the possibility of re-examining the zoning for this area.  If residents do not want a future project that is of the same scale and height as the initial Campus Advantage proposal, then the only way to avoid this likely possibility may be to change aspects of how it is zoned.
What do you think?
That’s all I’ve got for now.  More detail later.  Please feel free to contact me at this e-mail address or on the phone at 272-0639.  Have a good one.
George McG
George McGonigal
Common Council, First Ward
tel: 272-0639

Town Planning Board Meeting

Shirley A. Raffensperger Board Room, Town Hall
215 North Tioga Street
Ithaca, New York 14850

Tuesday, January 5, 2016


7:00 P.M. SEQR Determination: Crown Castle / Verizon Wireless Telecommunication Facility, Mecklenburg Road.

7:00 P.M. PUBLIC HEARING: Consideration of Preliminary and Final Site Plan Approval and Special Permit for a new telecommunication facility located on the north side of Mecklenburg Road across from 1335 Mecklenburg Road, Town of Ithaca Tax Parcel No. 27.-1-15.2, Agricultural Zone. The proposal involves the construction of a 105’ +/- monopole tower with 12 panel antennas, a 360 +/- square foot equipment shelter, a 60’ x 60’ +/- chain link fenced area, a 1,250’ +/- gravel access road, and landscaping. Rancich Family Limited Partnership, Owner; Crown Castle & Verizon Wireless, Applicants; Jeffrey W. Davis, Barclay Damon, Agent.

3. Persons to be heard

4. Approval of Minutes: December 1, 2015 and December 15, 2015

5. Other Business

6. Adjournment
Susan Ritter
Director of Planning

(A quorum of four (4) members is necessary to conduct Planning Board business.)

Accessing Meeting Materials Online
Site Plan and Subdivision applications and associated project materials are accessible electronically on the Town’s website under “Planning Board” on the “Meeting Agendas” page (http://www.town.ithaca.ny.us/meeting-agendas

Stolen bike, IHS

Stolen bikeI am sad to say my son’s bike was stolen Friday evening from Ithaca High School while he was there at an event.

FUJI Newest 2.0 Road Bike, frame 46 cm. Grey & black.

If you happen to see it anywhere or see it for sale, please contact me. We filed a police report Saturday morning.

Vikki Armstrong

Use of Inlet Island for boat parking

The following comes from Cynthia Brock, 1st Ward alderperson; she refers to the item on pp 29-31 of the agenda of the 9/11/15 BPW meeting. That item is available here as a PDF (two letters explaining things plus a drawing of the parking lot): Boat Parking BPW Agenda.

A recent proposal has come to the Board of Public Works requesting the use of the gravel parking lot on Inlet Island for winter boat storage for up to 100 boats (25 boats seems the most likely).

I have concerns with regards to this proposal, and have requested the BPW to hold off on its decision so that community members can provide input.

While I recognize the significant positive impact that the boating community has to our local culture and economy, I have strong reservations with regards to the impacts this will have.  It is my position that allowing long-term winter boat storage on the Inlet Island gravel parking lot will negatively affect the view shed of Inlet Island from Cliff Street, Taughannock Blvd., and Cass Park/Waterfront Trail, and will also create an industrial, cavernous feel to areas immediately adjacent to restaurants and shops who are striving to create a welcoming recreational environment.

The agenda for tonight’s BPW meeting was posted on Friday the 11th and a link to the relevant pages is at the top of this post.

Please share your thoughts with me, George and the BPW by emailing us at cbrock@cityofithaca.org, gmcgonigal@cityofithaca.org, and bpw@cityofithaca.org.
Thank you,

Cynthia Brock
First Ward Alderperson, City of Ithaca

Cat looking for home

runningcatThis cat seems to have moved into the space below our porch (on Cliff Street, on West Hill) a couple weeks ago. At first, we only saw an orange streak as it ran for cover. Then, it would stop at a distance and watch us for a while before disappearing again. But, the last few days, it’s been meowing at us through the door’s window and pretty clearly indicating it’s ready to take up a more permanent and comfortable residence.

My message to the West Hill email list got no response, so I assume it’s not the beloved of anyone in our neighborhood. I’m still open to hearing from someone that it’s their cat, but not very hopeful. If you know of other Ithaca email lists, maybe you’d forward the info to them.

sittingcatMeanwhile, would someone like to adopt this very lovable-seeming cat? It’s not always out in view, but I don’t think you’d have much trouble getting it to come along.

You can email (aozolins at ithaca dot edu) or phone (592 0780) with info or questions.