Give residents notice of event road closures
My wife and I are homeowners on Wright Avenue in Schenectady, in between Central Parkway and Eastern Parkway. We have been residents of our home and Schenectady since 2009 and specifically selected our street because of the liveliness and opportunities provided by Upper Union Street and Central Park.
I enjoy the fact that our neighborhood is a hub of events in Schenectady, and I appreciate that these events bring in non-Schenectady residents, improving the image and business opportunities of our often-maligned city.
I am, however, continually frustrated by the unannounced street closures and my inability to drive off my street during such events, sometimes for an hour or more, such as during this weekend’s Stockade-athon.
I work in a college admissions office and regularly have to leave my house to host weekend open houses or college fairs at specific times several times per month during the busiest race season. My wife is a CPA and also must work from her office during certain crucial quarterly or yearly cycles.
We are never notified of these closures in any official or unofficial capacity beforehand to plan accordingly. While dressed in a suit and attempting to head to work to host an event of several hundred attendees early on a weekend morning, I have found myself arguing with race marshals who are often hostile and unwilling to let me pass. I believe many of them are uninformed or unqualified to make such decisions about my ability to leave my residence in a car.
I am aware, due to myself assisting with hosting a charity run in Central Park, that there are permits and fees associated with hosting an event or closing streets. These fees should be used to communicate with the residents of the neighborhoods who are directly affected by the potential inconveniences. They should also be used to clear expectations and provide monitoring for the event’s organizers on how they are able to utilize and restrict access to the streets to the residents and taxpayers who fund the infrastructure they are using.
My ability to drive out of my driveway or block should be a given. When that ability is restricted, the burden of responsibility for communicating that should be on the event organizers, who restrict that ability, or the office providing the event organizers the ability to do so.
It’s not reasonable nor viable for me or my neighbors to research weekly events and routes to investigate how and when our weekend plans may be impeded. If there is sufficient infrastructure to notify me of when less-impactful activities occur on my street, such as the location and timing of autumn foliage dumpsters, there should be sufficient infrastructure to send regular and timely warnings for nonessential and planned road closings for events.
Take time to thank soldiers, vets, police
As a WWII veteran and a long-ago Saratoga Springs police officer, I can say thank you for your service to all veterans of all wars and to all police officers that protect our citizens.
The job for military people and police officers is not easy and never was. In today’s complex and mixed-up world, this type of work to protect our country and our local people in all American cities, towns, villages — you name it — it’s almost an impossible job, but it gets done one way or the other.
When we see veterans, active military and police officers, we should all say thank you for your service to our country and citizens. I would hate to think what our world would be like without these people. Think about it and you will agree.
Grateful for support of vets and programs
As we remember our military brothers and sisters on Veterans Day, let us remember that several veteran organizations in our own communities not only assist veterans, but help secure America’s lasting future by directing their attention to our youth.
The American Legion sponsors high school juniors every year to participate in Boys State at SUNY Morrisville. This is a weeklong summer leadership and citizenship program. In addition, the Veterans of Foreign Wars sponsors the Voice of Democracy student scholarship program annually in our community. This program provides students with the opportunity to address an annual theme through an original audio essay and to compete for a share of scholarships provided at local, state and national levels, with a top scholarship of $30,000.
The American Legion Post 1817 is pleased to announce that Pizza Works on Saratoga Road in Glenville is providing 20 percent off the sale price from every pizza sold to the Post on Veterans Day from 4 to 9:30 p.m. today to support Boys State.
The American Legion Post 1817, in partnership with the VFW Post 4660, is also pleased to announce that the Applebee’s on Saratoga Road in Glenville is providing a flapjack breakfast, based on pre-sale tickets, on Saturday, Dec. 12, from 8 to 10 a.m. to support Boys State and Voice of Democracy programs.
We are honored by Pizza Works and Applebee’s for their active support of veterans, veteran groups and the youth. We look forward to your support. Thank you.
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