Pioneer Street Rebuilding
Sparks Parking Concerns
By LIBBY CUDMORE • www.AllOTSEGO.com
COOPERSTOWN – After five years of saving paid parking revenue, the Village of Cooperstown is ready to start the $1.2 million Pioneer Street Reconstruction Project and pay for it with money set aside.
“Some of these pipes date back to the 1890s,” Trustee Cindy Falk, who chairs the Village Board’s Streets Committee, told a public meeting tonight at the fire hall. “In 2014, during the Winter Carnival, we had a water main break while it was snowing. There were crews plowing and crews trying to fix it. They’re over 100 years old. We’re living on borrowed time.”
The Village held a community briefing to go over what of Pioneer Street residents would need to know about the project, which is slated to start Tuesday, Sept. 5.
Lake, Elm and Main streets will be work sites as new sewer, water and storm-water draining systems are put in place. New curbing and roadway surface will also be installed.
“We have a lot of tourism and a lot of foot traffic,” said Travis Smigel, Delaware Engineering. “That means we’ve got compressed construction window and multiple crews working so we can get it done in 90 days.”
Though sidewalks will remain open for business, the roads being worked on will be closed for the day and re-opened at night. “Construction is a slow-moving train,” he said. “You’ll be able to see what’s coming, and if you need accommodations made so you can get out of your driveway, ask us. And someone will notify you the day before work is done in front of your home or business.”
The biggest concern was about parking for the businesses along Pioneer Street. “When the roads are open, people can park on the street,” said Falk. “When parking is not possible, we’re going to ask people to park on Fish Road.
“I don’t think Fish Road is going to take care of businesses,” said Robin Torrence of Stagecoach Coffee. “Are you really going to ask hundreds of customers to park there? It’s going to hurt us a lot.”
“30 percent of my business is walk-in traffic,” added Patti Ashley, Ashley Connor Realty. “They just won’t come.”
“It’s going to force customers into paid spaces,” said Matt Grady, an owner of Stagecoach Coffee.
Village Administrator Teri Barown pointed out that parking passes drop to $10 after Labor Day and are good through Columbus Day.
“Our heart goes out to you,” said John Brust, owner of Delaware Engineering. “But at the end of the day, we’re digging up a road that really needs it.”
“We’ll accommodate, but we have to get the work done,” said Smigel. “And we want to make sure it’s done right.”
Following the completion of the streets project – the Village plans to start the proposed Transportation Enhancement Program, which will replace and upgrade sidewalks.