[IW] [SHCA-LIST] FW: proposed changes to 200 and 300blocks of N. Tioga St.

Joseph Wetmore autumnleavesusedbooks at yahoo.com
Tue May 3 11:56:17 CDT 2016


Hi all
If we make our transportation decisions based on making it easy for automobiles as a first priority, then people will choose automobiles as their priority mode of transportation. The assumption I see in this discussion is that people going to downtown locations have to go by car. 

The only way to solve the parking problem is to create viable alternatives to driving your car downtown. The fewer people whose only option of how to get downtown is to drive a car, the fewer parking spaces we need for cars.
I do not understand why bicyclists are told to park their bike and walk a couple of blocks, while we devote acres of public space so that automobiles can park in front of the  destination. I really don't understand why people going to the courthouse can't walk a couple of blocks.
Joe


      From: "Nathan Kennedy ntkennedy at gmail.com [SHCA-LIST]" <SHCA-LIST-noreply at yahoogroups.com>
 To: George McGonigal <gmcgonigal at cityofithaca.org> 
Cc: "SHCA-LIST at yahoogroups.com" <SHCA-LIST at yahoogroups.com>; Ithaca West <IWest at ithacawest.org>; "annh.sullivan at gmail.com" <annh.sullivan at gmail.com>; mthorne at cityofithaca.org; BPW at cityofithaca.org; firstwardreps at cityofithaca.org; asherman at cityofithaca.org
 Sent: Tuesday, May 3, 2016 10:39 AM
 Subject: Re: [SHCA-LIST] FW: proposed changes to 200 and 300blocks of N. Tioga St.
   
    Thank you George and Cynthia,
I am all for making Ithaca's streets as pedestrian- and bike-friendly and safe for all road users as possible.
BUT with that in mind, these two blocks of Tioga Street are among the most crucial for accessibility in the entire county. Where is the consideration?
Forget about business. Seriously consider the impact on those from all parts of our city and all towns of our county; the disabled, the elderly, families with small children; among them voters, jurors, witnesses, parties to family, civil, matrimonial, and criminal matters, accessing all of the following public facilities around these two blocks (among others):
1. Family Court
2. County Court3. Supreme Court4. Surrogates' Court5. Family Treatment Court6. District Attorney7. County Clerk8. County Assessor9. Board of Elections10. Town Court11. Town Clerk12. Town Hall13. Last but not least, Downtown Post Office!
Parking in this area is already challenging. These two blocks should not have parking removed without public discussion. We should not be making it harder for the disabled, elderly, rural families, and persons fearing for their safety to access these crucial government services. It's not always as simple as hopping on a bike or a bus.
Nathan
On Mon, Apr 25, 2016 at 7:59 AM, George McGonigal gmcgonigal at cityofithaca.org [SHCA-LIST] <SHCA-LIST-noreply at yahoogroups.com> wrote:

 

Dear 1st Warders,
I am forwarding to you a letter I wrote to BPW this morning.  FYI.  If you want to be heard, yet again, you can come to BPW meeting this afternoon at 4:45. Or write an e-mail to Board of Public Works @cityofithaca.org., today.  Sorry for the short notice.

George McGonigal
Common Council, First Wardtel: 272-0639From: George McGonigal
Sent: Monday, April 25, 2016 7:15 AM
To: Board of Public Works
Cc: Svante Myrick; Michael Thorne; Common Council; JoAnn Cornish; Frank Nagy
Subject: proposed changes to 200 and 300blocks of N. Tioga St.

Good morning, BPW Commissioners,
At your meeting before last, about a month ago, you decided not to install bike lanes and eliminate parking on the 200 and 300 blocks of N. Tioga Street.  At least not this year, it was said.  As one of the Common Council liaisons to the Tompkins County Legislature, I relayed this information to the County Legislature at their meeting three weeks ago. They were clearly relieved, and unanimous in their support of the decision not to eliminate parking along these blocks of N. Tioga St.
To change direction now and vote to eliminate 18 parking spaces on the west side of the 200 and 300 blocks of N. Tioga St. would be the wrong choice, in my opinion.
Frank Nagy, the City's Director of Parking, explained very convincingly at your meeting last month about how important street parking close to people's downtown destinations is.  Spaces need to be available for this to work.He was opposed to eliminating so many parking spaces.
Businesses on the Commons, struggling to re-establish their customer base after the long re-constuction process,are strongly opposed to the loss of on street parking.  So are the businesses at the DeWitt Mall and along the 200 and 300 blocks of N. Tioga St.  Input from First Ward residents, who I represent on Council, was more than 2 to 1 opposed to eliminating parking. 
I respect the Board's desire to improve bicycle infrastructure and access to all parts of the City, including the Commons.  As the Mayor and others have pointed out, these 2 blocks of N. Tioga St., while very busy with automobile traffic during the day, are short blocks with low speeds.  The ability of cars and bikes to share existing traffic lanes, particularly if the traffic calming measures already established further north on N. Tioga St. are continued here, seems reasonable.  
I am concerned about the economic vitality of our downtown businesses.  I am also concerned about accessibilityto our Tompkins County Courthouse and related offices.  I do not believe creating a conflict with the County serves anyone particularly well.
Clearly, this is not the easiest decision you face or you would not be re-visiting it.  
Establishing separate bike lanes and eliminating parking on these two blocks will hurt far more people than it will help, in my view.  And changing direction now may create more problems down the road.
Thanks for your consideration of this letter.
Yours,George McG 


George McGonigal
Common Council, First Wardtel: 272-0639



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