Author Topic: Reimagine the Canal efforts praised by Upstate New York Residents, well not all  (Read 132 times)

Doug K

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New York State's efforts to "Reimagine the Canals" has hit the local Suburban News publication highlighting the plans for Brockport and other towns along the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor... you can read the full story here:

And if you look online you will also see that around the Rochester area..."most" people see these news articles delivered to their mailboxes. That is of course everyone BUT Rochester's Eastside Communities, they don't appear to be receiving this news publication regarding Rochester's suburban changes.

You would think that any activity by the State, to find solutions to the continued financial burden of maintaining this 200 year old waterway, would be welcomed by most...sadly that is not the case. You would think that any activity bringing tourism dollars to our area, along with providing people from around the world a memorable Canal Experience, would be a welcome change to many small businesses along the Canal...again that doesn't seem to be the case with some in our communities, they would rather throw stones at the Reimagine Plans

While the Suburban News is trying to spread the positive vibes coming from this NY State effort...some in our community seem to always find fault with any and all work being done by New York, especially within the NY Canal Corporation efforts. Just take a look at what the Eastside folks get to read regarding the Reimagine Canals effort... direct from a group that is working to stop necessary safety restoration of the canal.

How long will Rochester's Eastside Community settle for this type of bias & negativity?

When will residents in Brighton Pittsford & Perinton finally figure out that those fighting against an improved & profitable Erie Canal, are NOT doing their Neighbors. Towns or Villages any service.

« Last Edit: March 02, 2020, 11:57:14 am by Michael Caswell »

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Doug K

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Often the Erie Canal Neighbors Association gets accused of "bias" with some of our postings. We tend to say that Canal Safety is First and Unsafe Embankments Must Go...way too often, at least that is what some folks say. I won't go into how taking any other stand but supporting safety would show a person's total disregard for the public around them, that should be obvious to all. We must insure canal safety first, that is the key to "reimaging" anything for it's future.

I want to KEEP talking about the reasons WHY the NYS Canal has to be properly cleared, properly maintained for our safety...and properly inspected on a regular basis... and it's once again all about REIMAGINING what needs to happen.

Ask yourself this question: Why has the Erie Canal suddenly become so important?

That's a question we all should be asking. No one who owned the canal before, had done this much work in the name of safety, at least that anyone can remember. The vegetation overgrowth was so bad it was hard to find the canal let alone inspect it's dams. We never saw any canal workers, construction equipment on the bike trail was rare. But sure enough, the very FIRST thing the new Canal Owners did, new owners are New York Power Authority (NYPA), was to start work on getting their property looking like it should... a clean, cleared & safe canal system. It has to be free of falling trees, free of overgrown, unsafe embankments... NYPA is on a mission to make the NY Erie/Barge Canal look like new!

But Why?

It's for a program called Reimagine the Canals... that is the name of their current efforts to insure there is a NYS Canal system that can retain it's place as a premier NY Destination for any and all types of recreation.

The program is about insuring that the Canal itself, can withstand it's next big transformation: from an underutilized commercial waterway to a new birth as the haven for all forms of public recreation. That Reimagine the Canal effort has the backing of the Governor of our state and the Reimagine program is being run all over the Country, in varied states by NYPA...and you will see results of that work later in this post.

NY State was losing so much money on this relic called the Erie Canal that it had to be placed under control of NYPA, yes the NY Power Authority, who has agreed to reduce the taxpayer burden of the Canal Corporation operation, as well as insure the waterway & trail system are both properly maintained. The canal is unsafe right now and NY Power is fixing that, for OUR safety... the Public. But they also have another reason why they are working away at sprucing up the Canal.

NYPA's Plan for the NYS Canal:
The New York Power Authority sees MUCH greater potential for the NYS Canal System than ANY prior owner of the NY Canal Corporation. They have a vision, and they have a clean slate...once they get it cleaned off, to do what they want with it. They have ONE goal... figure out a way to have the Canal make MORE MONEY!. It's no secret that the NYS Canal has run in the red for years, it had become a joke...and was an anchor to any state agency that owned it... until now, until NEW ownership took over that was interested in public safety.

While most folks in the Rochester area are embroiled in an argument about whether we should talk about Unsafe Canal Embankments or Trees & Shade, NYPA has been engaging some of the most creative thinkers, architects, and designers to figure out what to do with a 200 year old canal. They are asking people to "reimagine" what it might need to look like for it's next century of life.

Here's what they are considering:

From a major Chicago Design Show an entry for the Reimagine the Erie Canal recently won Design Excellence awards. It for a Winterscape" idea...and DIRECTLY affects Rochester, Pittsford & Fairport NY.

You can read the article here:

Here's what that proposal looks like including prototypes that would be located right in our area... the same area fighting embankment safety work. The pictures are representations of what this would look like for a given town along the Erie Canal. The article states this particular idea is meant for Pittsford & Fairport... and will Reimagine a winter use for the canal

Pretty cool huh? But it doesn't end there...not by a long shot. New York Power Authority has collected many ideas for change, not just those they implemented last year as a result of their initial contest, no... they have MUCH bigger plans for their new asset. Here's another article.

If you read this article you will see a picture of a canal that is transforming how we will think about the canal in the future. It will become a destination for local activity as well as bring more tourism, more tourist dollars, and more prosperity to our area... if we let it of course.

Here's some visions for familiar canal STRUCTURES we all have seen as we use the canal... all products of Re-imagined Canal.

People are once again talking about the Erie Canal downstate in NY City. Recent article from the Architect's Newspaper has lauded the work by NYPA & the Governor to create a place for New Yorkers to play at their hearts content...all part of the Reimagine the Canal effort. Just imagine if the Erie Canal became a NY destination, just like NY City is. What would that mean in increased revenue for our area?

And yes...even more of the design ideas for the canal are shared in this article It's a NYC website so much of it was on how the "greenspace" was changed. The canal is transforming from a commercial waterway, where large barges lived & worked, to a new vision where people come to relax & play. They can get close enough to the water to launch kayaks or wade. Take a look at these pictures that are being shared as part of the next iteration of Reimagine the Canals.

What you see in these pictures is EXACTLY what many people asked for in the statewide Reimagine the Canal idealization sessions held in several canal towns, ours area meeting was held in Brockport last year.

Can anyone give a GOOD reason why any of this work by NYPA should be stopped?

Should our communities be supporting the Reimagine effort or fighting this evolution of the NYS Canal System or not? It would appears that the entities that now own, operate & maintain this waterway & property, have shown they are "good neighbors". They are finally fixing their property, insuring it's safe condition. In fact they are going to improve their property for the benefit of ALL New York residents, including our area. They have a vision for YEAR-ROUND use of the canal... and hopefully a way to help defray their Cost of Ownership. .

The new Canal Owners, NYPA, are working hard to insure  people "want" to go and see the NYS Canal System once again, just like when it was built the first time two hundred years ago. They are trying to increase traffic on the waterway, on the trails, and trying to make our area a recreational destination with the Erie Canal transformed into a statewide "playground" for any and all activities.

Why anyone or any group would oppose any of this necessary improvement, seems to be the question of the day?

What logical reason could be given to stop this Reimagine work, we can't think of any.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 10:35:26 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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While you are contemplating all you have read about the Reimagine the Canals Program, ask yourself why a local mayor, of any town, would oppose the ongoing canal embankment safety work, and the overall Erie Canal revitalization & improvement. Especially in a town like Pittsford, that stands to benefit greatly from the future plans for a 21st century Canal System.

Then ask yourself why that Mayor would allow this post about the Canal to be placed on a Facebook Groups page that is opposing any and all canal changes, changes for safer embankments, changes for improving canal inspection and changes that will create a more interesting & hopefully profitable, NY State canal system.

This very question should be on the minds of voters the next time they are able to elect the next Mayor of Pittsford
« Last Edit: January 25, 2020, 11:04:38 pm by Doug K »

Michael Caswell

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What I find incredible about this mayor is that he is concerned about a perceived threat to the canal. But is not concerned about the people in danger because of his irrational actions to halt the inspections and reparations needed to take his residents out of harm's way.

These villages have already blown $50,000 on legal fees fighting to keep their constituents in harms way. When will they see the light?
« Last Edit: January 26, 2020, 12:17:48 pm by Michael Caswell »