Putting the money factor aside for a moment, Utica's government should realize the important fact that people gravitate to places that are not only attractive but have a good foundation as well. Not one or the other, but both. To make Utica look nice but have many roads that are dangerous and in need of repair sends a strong negative message to people (and large employers) considering moving here. If one or the other is lacking, people stay away or worse yet, move away... it's a lose-lose situation. This is why Utica is, and has been for years, a depressed area.
To become a viable thriving city, Utica MUST first repair its roads and transportation system in general. It's the heart of a city. If the heart isn't beating properly, it doesn't matter how much makeup you slap on... the body is doomed. For years, Utica's politicians have just been providing excuses for why our roads are not repaired rather than allocating money to fix them properly. This is addressed in the old adage, "If you always do what you always did, you'll always get what you always got." Without safe streets and roads, a city isn't going to grow and thrive.
When you go to a doctor, they want to know where it hurts the most and they fix that first. Same with a city. Our streets and roads hurt most.
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul. --Yiddish proverb
In Utica the paving plan and the sewer improvement plan would probably take place at the same time, with the black top crew putting down new pavement just in time for the sewer crew to arrive with a backhoe and dig holes in it, leaving a patchwork quilt of cold patch asphalt patches, forming an all new minefield of bumps and prospective potholes after the first winter.
I went over some streets in West Utica the last time we were there that were in deplorable condition. Erie Street had potholes that would bend a rim or blow a tire, and parts of Sunset Ave was not much better.
Many cities have been placed in the position of needing more repaving than the budget could possibly absorb without a major increase in taxes. Utica has gotten so far behind and has neglected to prioritize paving of the streets over some of the other cosmetic improvements downtown that there is no way they will ever catch up and have a majority of the city streets back in decent shape. Keeping ahead of the major thoroughfares and making a futile attempt to fix the side streets is probably all that can be hoped for. Winters in the North wreak havoc on asphalt paving material. It is a losing battle against the elements. As soon as the snow is gone, the patching and paving begins, and it is no time at all before the frost, the plows and salt once again return to assault and destroy what was repaired over the summer.
It is not a problem unique to the Northeast. While our roads here are much better for the most part, because we don't see the harsh winters, there is STILL a budgetary limit to how many miles of roads get repaved each year. Our county has their own blacktop plant. It has been closed for several years because it was cheaper to buy the material, but prices have risen to a point that staffing and reopening the plant is a possibility that is being seriously studied as a way to afford paving of more miles of road each year. Our recently elected highway commissioner is playing catch up after several terms of inefficiency by past commissioners. We are fortunate to have the benefit of his 30 yrs experience actually working at the highway department, doing each and every job from laborer to equipment operator, and section foreman supervising a crew. The last commissioner was a politician, and thought it more important to accrue a fund surplus at the end of the year than it was to spend what was budgeted to maintain the roads properly. The roads were going to hell in a hand basket while he bragged about having a 5 million dollar surplus left at the end of the year. That surplus will now be used to pave additional miles of road this year in an effort to catch up. What the past commissioner didn't factor into his misguided desire to show a surplus was that if there is a surplus in any given year, the chances are that the budget will be cut accordingly the following year, making it even harder for the department to properly do their jobs and properly maintain the county's roads. Such poor management would eventually lead to irreversible major deterioration of the roads over a period of time. We have been fortunate to have elected a competent and experienced manager, over a blowhard self serving politician.
Utica's mayor needs to do more than walk through the neighborhoods, shaking hands, kissing babies, and making empty promises. He needs to consider working for the people that elected him rather than pandering to outside political influences and agendas. Local politics has seen too many years of county government neglecting Utica while funding and promoting growth in Rome and other areas of the county. The last time Utica had a mayor that truly focused on improving the city was when Ed Hanna was mayor.
Post by clarencebunsen on May 8, 2019 10:42:48 GMT -5
A few years ago I remember reading a detailed report on that year's crisis Utica budget and realized they had budgeted enough to pave 1% of the city streets. A 100 year plan is not adequate.
Last month I drove Higby Road to Ilion. The road conditions improved considerably when I crossed the county line. I don't think anyone can argue that the winters are milder or the people wealthier in Herkimer County than in Oneida County.
Crossbows don't kill people. Quarrels kill people.
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bhu whatever happened to the road repair plan for Utica that was approved by Common Council whereby 5 miles of road would be repaired each year for 5 years? Is it being done. I know last summer I saw repaving going on around the area of the new downtown hospital but that was it. A few years ago the area around MVCC was repaved but the wrong asphalt was used I think and it all rippled. Upper James above Mohawk St was also repaved last summer. Do they do any side streets?
I'm not sure what streets are being paved this year. I don't subscribe to the OD anymore so I haven't seen an announcement on what streets are being paved. Genesee St was repaved a few years ago, less then 10 if memory serves me & it's back to being a disaster. They must be using product mixed with swiss cheese.