CITY HALL EXPERIMENTS
The Market Street entrance to Neahwa Park has been closed for a week, beginning yesterday, a test to see if one vehicular entrance – at Main and River – is sufficient for park users.
“The intent of this temporary, experimental road closure is to observe its effects on traffic entering, exiting, and within Neahwa Park,” City Hall announced in a press release.
“Following this experiment,” it states, “the city intends to evaluate the merits of making permanent physical improvements to the Market Street entrance … (to) not only create an attractive, inviting park entrance, but (to) limit access to only pedestrians, bicycles and emergency vehicles.”
Three years ago, the city received a state Department of Transportation grant to add sidewalks and make other safety improvements to the Market Street entrance, Mayor Gary Herzig recounted. However, because of crossing the railroad tracks and creek, and other complications, the project was found to be too expensive and the grant was returned, he said.
Still, “it’s not safe for pedestrians,” the mayor said. “There’s no sidewalk. People are walking in the street. It’s also not a very attractive entrance for a beautiful park.”
This week was chosen for the pilot project because it’s one of the busiest of the years, including the NBT-sponsored Oneonta Outlaws’ game, one of the best attended. Outlaws owner Gary Laing, and the police and fire chiefs, bought into the idea, Herzig said.
“So it’s a good week to do a trial run,” he said. He encouraged people to provide feed back at firstname.lastname@example.org