Streetscape Project Controversies

From Jefferson County NY Wiki

Streetscape Project Controversies[edit | edit source]

(pdf File) As construction on the project progressed through the summer of 2008, many issues arose with business owners and the public regarding the square's radical new traffic and pedestrian design.

The owner of Mr. Sub on the corner of Mill Street and Public Square publicly voiced concerns as the design of the new eastern crosswalk caused the removal of the Public Square exit to his parking lot, citing difficulties for customers and delivery trucks to enter and exit from the Mill Street exit to his lot.

Concerns also arose as narrower traffic lanes at the Mill Street entrance and Arsenal/Court Street exit of Public Square and larger traffic islands have caused difficulties for larger vehicles to maneuver around the square. The ability of emergency vehicles (fire trucks in particular) to be able to enter and exit certain sides of the square has also become a concern, as the Mill Street entrance and Arsenal/Court Street exit have each gone from two lanes to one. Heavy traffic at these intersections could impede emergency vehicles from reaching their destinations.

Cost overruns again became a concern in late summer. One of the cost saving measures previously discussed was removal of synthetic asphalt from the project. This red colored. resin based pavement was to be used in crosswalks and through the of the square, and stamped into a pattern to resemble brick pavers. The City Council again decided to go ahead with the asphalt, as it was considered a central, aesthetic feature of the project. Controversy arose when city engineers voiced concerns about the durability of the asphalt and it's ability to withstand the harsh winters of Northern New York. Some in the council voiced displeasure at the engineers for voicing these concerns so late in the project. Despite the engineers' concerns, the council voted to keep the synthetic asphalt in the project. The asphalt was poured throughout late September and early October.

Crews poured a concrete pad and pathway for a gazebo that was to be placed at the eastern end of the park. It was announced that three pears prior, the gazebo was removed from the project as a cost saving measure. Many in the City Council stated that they were unaware that the gazebo had been removed, especially since contractors built the pad and pathway for it. The council voted to go ahead and order a new gazebo, which will resemble a bandstand that sat in the park during the 1800's.

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