Some of our politicians and some people in favor of the Niskayuna Holocaust memorial have labeled residents who are against it anti-Semitic, anti-memorial and anti-education. This accusation makes me very sad and it’s untrue. This is a very simple issue. It only involves zoning, traffic and safety.
Troy-Schenectady Road from Union Street to Vley Road in Colonie is residential, If we allow the memorial to be built, we’re opening the door to other businesses, large and small, office buildings, other memorials. The town won’t be able to stop it.
The proposed site backs up to the Lishakill Preserve and creek in the back; on one side is the Holy Redeemer Cemetery. On the other is woods. The memorial will have a boxcar -- closed but easily able to be broken into. The memorial won’t be fenced in, with not enough lights and no guard.
The Niskayuna police have offered to conduct drive-throughs, but it won’t be enough. Our police force is small and we’re paying too much overtime as it is. I can see the site becoming a teenage party site, a place to deal drugs, even a gang hangout.
I’ve lived on Route 7 for 52 years and have seen too many accidents. If commercial development is allowed, all ancillary roadways will be impacted by vehicles avoiding Route 7.
Why not instead put the money toward improving and expanding the Holocaust Education Center on Washington Avenue Extension? The location is accessible from all Capital District cities and outlying areas and there’s a service road, ideal for school buses. I can’t believe Dr. Lozman and the Jewish Federation want this to become a hate issue. The issue is really zoning, safety and traffic. Let’s address and debate these three issues only.