Do we really need a review of flushing standards?
The review of toilet flushing regulations demanded by President Trump because, 1) they were an Obama-era regulation and thus inherently flawed, and 2) that “people” are flushing their toilets “10 to 15 times as opposed to once,” is not based on reality. I’d like to know this: Have any official, credible and unbiased studies, or even a single such study, been submitted to support such bizarre, fictional claims?
Even in the 60s and 70s, depending on the quality of toilet engineering, manufacture and local water supply, reasonable people flushed more than once occasionally. When I first heard about the Obama administration’s proposed toilet waterflow regulations, I was skeptical whether they could be achieved without necessitating multiple flushes more often.
The amount of water used by toilets and urinals in this country is truly mind-boggling. Water is life.
Our species is truly insane to needlessly continue to “flush it down the toilet.” However, modern engineering, in my personal experience, has met the challenge.
The last toilet I installed in my basement uses a fraction of the water used by my previous toilet and cost around $50. We will face increasing water shortages and higher water costs in the future unless we conserve it. For the sake of our survival, we should not abandon real achievements based on the behavior of some politician’s “imaginary friends.” Sensibly, my new basement toilet has two buttons, appropriately and sensitively labeled, the use of which I will leave to the reader’s imagination.
Smart Cities preserve values
Upper Union Street in Schenectady has what we consider a well-preserved mixed use/mixed occupancy community, with pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly sidewalks and streets. However, McDonald’s is proposing a project that includes the demolition of an existing long-term clothing store building, replacing it with additional parking and an additional drive-thru for its Dean and Union street location.
This project is kitty-corner from a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru that has currently added to traffic congestion and standing vehicles on Dean and Union Street sidewalks, creating two hazardous pedestrian/bicycle obstacles. In addition, Bruegger’s bagels allows 4-car parking access across the street from what will potentially be the third curb opening for the proposed McDonald’s double-drive-thru project, which in our opinion tips the scale for this project in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety.
Our understanding of Smart City growth is a plan that seeks to conserve historic streetscape buildings, preserve community customs and values, and not separate housing, business, recreation, education, industry and government. If Schenectady is seriously considering a plan to pursue a smarter, safer and more sustainable city, as was demonstrated at the Smart City open house, smart growth cities do not demolish buildings, replace them with parking lots and alter the streetscape to accommodate automobiles.
This project will be presented at the City Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 110. Now is your time to voice your concerns.
Gary J. Lessard, P.E.
Donna M. Lessard