Author Topic: Have Erie Canal Neighbors Become Unwitting Scenery in New York's Reimagine Program?  (Read 39 times)

Doug K

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Three Hundred Twenty-Seven… 327; that’s the number of people DIRECTLY affected as Erie Canal Neighbor’s living directly ADJACENT to the recent work being done through the NY Canal Corporation’s (NYCC) Embankment Rehabilitation Project that started in November 2017.

Of course some people in the Rochester area were opposed to this Canal Public Safety work. In fact one group was successful in temporarily removing about 127 homeowners from that total through a Court Injunction in February 2018. Those 127 Spencerport & eastern Monroe County “neighbors” have simply been moved from the initial Embankment Restoration Project, which had a guarantee of a “barrier screening replacement”, to the new Embankment Rehabilitation PROGRAM which uses the State Environmental Quality Review process or SEQR, to determine where screening barriers will be required.

While folks on the Eastside of Rochester try to figure out the meaning of “Public Safety”, about 200 Erie Canal Neighbors, in the western section of the Erie Canal, watched as the NYCC restored safety to its aging infrastructure, including embankment dams that run along our own properties.

We listened as the NY Canal Corporation, and its parent company NY Power Authority, explained the safety issues and “promised” that they would “make things right” for those homeowners who were most affected by clearing 75 years’ worth of overgrown vegetation along Erie Canal raised embankments.
Little did we know that many of us would become the new “window dressing” for New York’s Reimagine the Canals initiatives…making the Canal System more appealing to its patrons. Even though Governor Cuomo & the Re-imagine Task Force don’t want to use the exact word, they do envision a kind of “linear park” across the state, with the Erie Canal National Heritage Corridor as the “centerpiece” of that Recreational Area.
Our properties, once almost completely HIDDEN from view along the Erie Canal Trail, have now become sideshows and attractions for the hundreds of thousands of NY Canal visitors who visit this linear park annually. Hard to believe the screening barrier promised us will EVER replace what was lost, see for yourself:

Here’s a few pictures of the before & after from one of the typical Work Zones (aka: Embankment Dams). As you can see… nothing but a line of trees before, and now many canal neighbor’s complain of their loss of privacy and fear for their safety, and the safety of their properties.

In a recent Erie Canal Vistor’s Survey many Erie Canal Visitors actually mentioned the fact that “scenery” was limited, lots of trees, lots of water… but little view of surrounding countryside. That report has feed many of the initiatives being fostered by the new Reimagine the Canals efforts, it may also be why the project for Embankment Rehabilitation was pushed along without enough planning or communication.

What about those 200 Erie Canal Neighbors, are they paying the ultimate cost with their loss of PRIVACY & their sense of SECURITY?

Well, it appears that the Re-imagine the Canals efforts have forgotten who’s paying the ultimate price for a “Better NY Canal Experience”… homeowner’s who live closest to the Erie Canal Trail traffic and have zero protection now from “people pollution”. They are on cell phones, they are pointing in our yards like it’s a sideshow, and they don’t seem to grasp the idea of keeping their dogs on leashes and out of our yards.

What can Erie canal Neighbors do to fight against this invasion of their privacy, security & happiness?

If you think the solutions being offered by the NY Canal Corporation are NOT going to adequately provide the privacy & security you once had and believe another solution will be needed, you need to let your voice be heard… and soon.
Reply to this Posting and let your voice be counted. The ECNA will work to change the Barrier Screening Plan for those who have a VALID case for loss of Privacy & Security due to their proximity to recently rehabilitated Erie Canal Embankments.

Maybe this is a better solution?

If you think there is a better option, one that the NY Canal Corporation said "may" be needed but now seems to be denying it's neighbors, who's lives they have changed forever... it's time to speak up.

Here's a reminder of what the Canal Corporation filed as it's State Environmental SEQR Report:

And here's what that FENCE OPTION might look like:

It's time to unite as Erie Canal Neighbors... time to speak up and let your voices & choices be heard.

« Last Edit: July 01, 2019, 01:52:00 pm by Doug K »

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Michael Caswell

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I know what I'd do to fix those gawkers  at your property!

Fix big mirrors on the building and line them so they reflect the sun to the crest of the dam. They'd soon get fed up with gawking then!

I think you need some Catalpa trees at the foot of the dam too. They have HUGE leaves, and grow to be 100 feet tall, Nice flowers and perfume too!  It's a pity they are deciduous  though, but then perhaps the trail isn't so busy in the winter.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2019, 12:19:33 pm by Doug K »

Doug K

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Only 4" diameter trunks allowed in the ground at the top of the dam. Only 25' tall trees allowed beyond the Toe of Slope at the bottom. The Canal Corporation is avoiding creation of yet another safety issue for their counterparts 100 years from now.

A 4x4 post has no roots, it will be 4' in the ground and 6' above. There could be an 8' wide PRIVACY FENCE between two of these post "planted" 8 feet apart. That would be a very effective screening barriers that could be maintenance free, and even have solar lighting on top.. wouldn't that be pretty?

Of course this WAS an option that the Embankment Restoration Project SEQR review identified as one of the solutions that may be needed for Zones 1-40. But somehow that has been REMOVED by the Canal Corp Folks... the ECNA is asking why.