Utica on the Map

Utica on the Map
Smack in the Center

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Broken-Down Dept: The Round-About

Here's a warning for Uticans: "Don't get caught up in the glitz and sexiness of the round-about." Said Councilman Frank Vescera.

It is pretty sexy, you have to admit. The mayor (David Roefaro) supports turning Oneida Square into a round-about, a 2$ million project. I'm all for it simply because it would eliminate some traffic lights, of which Genesee Street is literally littered. Utica has traffic lights where there is no traffic.

But I digress.... In my experience, whenever Utica is faced with a change, the city council comes up with worries, fears, objections and projections of doom.

So many people are upset about the round-about that 20 whole people met yesterday at the Veterans Center for a public discussion of all these fears and worries, such as "funding, scope and effects." Unfortunately, the mayor didn't show up.

I suppose this is what happened decades ago when the Transportation Department proposed routing thruway 81 through Utica and Utica's politicians turned them down. Too much change. Too many problems. So 81 turned around and steered toward Syracuse, bringing business with every mile.

As the mayor said recently, and I'm paraphrasing, a small city like Glen Falls can create a round-about but not Utica. We like our streets straight.

It must be something in the waters of the Mohawk River.

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