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Planning Board's First Look at NEW BEACON HOTEL on Main Street

At Tuesday's planning board meeting, members seemed enthusiastic about a 10-room hotel for Beacon's West End, just up from Bank Square and across from Hudson Beach glass.

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Comment by Mark Roland on December 22, 2013 at 5:21pm

Perfect timing, Anna.

First, restaurants that wanted to open used to pay an "in lieu of" fee. So, instead of actually building the requisite number of spaces required by city code, they would pay x dollars per space that ostensibly went into a city fund to create more parking at some future date. I won't go into more in this comment area, but I'll be posting a series on parking at my blog starting tomorrow morning. I hope you'll join the discussion!

When you claim "When they did that study, there wasn't near the businesses nor rented apartments up and running like now, just a couple years later" I'm curious where that data comes from. I don't think there have been that many new units coming on line since then. In any case, at the time of the study, people were moaning about a parking problem. I had a business on Main Street for 8 years, and almost from day one I heard complaints.

 All the lots you mention may fill at various times, but mostly with employees. So on weekends, there is generally plenty of space. Someone mentioned the Dutchess County lot. That is open. Yesterday I went by at about 4:30 on the last Saturday before Christmas and there were zero cars parked in the lot, as well as nine curbside spaces open in the two blocks west of the lot. Today at 12 noon two of the 86 spaces (plus an additional 4 handicapped) were taken, though every curbside space from the lot entrance to Cliff Street was occupied. Obviously signage is an issue, since it is 1. posted parallel, rather than perpendicular to the street. 2. It comes after the only entrance from Main. 3. It is defaced.  It is technically not a city lot, but available through the beneficence of the county.

Time limit parking simply does not work--very low compliance, difficult and labor intensive to enforce. It's been tried as long as I've been here with zero effect. Time for something that works. To find out what that is, check my new feed here at BCN. I'll have the first in a series of posts about parking starting tomorrow, Monday the 23 of December.

 The hotel should have have spaces but there is no reason they can't let the people park far away and pick them up?

That is exactly what he is proposing, a taxi pickup from the train. Plenty of parking down there on the weekend.

I never said Beacon did not have a parking problem so I don't no where you got that idea. As for the idea of people walking not being sensible, that's an interesting point of view. I'll be looking at that related issue in the series as well. Season's Greetings, and Merry Christmas to those celebrating!

If you lived in a place with the kind of censorship that impeded your life in any serious way, chances are you would not need to worry about more than one political party.  Just because politicians do it, it still falls under petty vandalism.

Comment by Anna West on December 22, 2013 at 3:58pm

The zoning law for parking has been forced on restaurants for many years, why not a hotel?   Also that so called "city parking lot" behind Hudson Glass is filled with mostly residents of the building on the other side. Enforcing 2 hour parking during the day in that lot(same with the one up the street) would help plenty with parking.  There is a parking issue now.  When they did that study, there wasn't near the businesses nor rented apartments up and running like now, just a couple years later.

All the lots off Main (behind Town Cryer, Rite Aide and where Flea is in summer) now contain a lot of cars. Pretending we don't have a parking problem or that people can just walk is just not sensible.  Yes, the store owners need to realize they are hurting business for if not themselves, their neighbors.  Like the locksmith should not take up three spaces near by, and another shop owner I know, shouldn't complain about being ticketed.  They should walk.  I know if I want a bagel, and don't find a space near by, I don't stop. Same with some other items that are not really needed, important.   The hotel should have have spaces but there is no reason they can't let the people park far away and pick them up? 

It is funny using the "taking down posters as censorship", because a certain political party takes down signs for the other party every election and I think of it as censorship and they lose my votes because they don't join the protest but deny it happens.

Comment by Mark Roland on December 20, 2013 at 5:14pm

TC wrote: I think I understand censorship clearly. Whether it is used for good or bad is subjective. If I go to Key Foods and put up a flyer and you take it down that's a form of censorship, don't you agree?

Perhaps. I'd more likely call it vandalism, since nobody is telling you that you can't put up another flyer. But the analogy here might be closer to, if I came along and wrote something on your original flyer that you felt was rude or unhelpful, and you erased it or put up a new sheet. Of course the Keyfood management could decide to take down any and all posters they did not like at any time, at their discretion. But they could not stop you from handing it out on the sidewalk in front of the store.

Elaine: As a former business owner on Main Street, who has also talked at length with other proprietors of all kinds, the issues involved are complicated. I often had two or three other jobs when I had my store, and I could not afford to keep it open when street traffic was not there. While it's true that a number of shops sell non-essential items, if I opened a general store tomorrow, people would come in, complain that they could get x for  a dollar less at Mal Wart, and off they go in the car. There is one dedicated coffee shop in Beacon, Bank Square, on the west end. Ella's Bellas features locally roasted coffees from Taz, but I would not call it a coffee house--most restaurants in town serve coffee. It's apparently hard to grow coffee beans in the Hudson Valley, so I think we can give people who like to consume local stuff a break on that one.

As for opinion stated as fact, there are quite a few studies that track  the effects of encouraging more walking and cycling (by changes in infrastructure, parking policy, etc.) on retail sales volume in a given area. Not sure where you got the notion that just because you disagree you are against a better Beacon. I invite you to participate in discussions over at Wigwam, where you will find information in the coming posts that gives the sources behind some of these statements.

As for the censorship thing, I think we've all had our say.

Comment by TC on December 20, 2013 at 4:27pm

I stand corrected. I mistakenly assumed that Mark had moderator privileges at beaconcitizen.com, rather than notice that he was the original poster of this particular thread.

I think I understand censorship clearly. Whether it is used for good or bad is subjective. If I go to Key Foods and put up a flyer and you take it down that's a form of censorship, don't you agree?

Nonetheless, I also stand by initial assertion that my post on Mark's blog, which he most certainly has the authority/right to moderate as he sees fit, was simply a snarky comment contrasting an inflammatory comment about how each individual views things differently. One man's trash... etc. I used a derogatory stereotype to punctuate my point but by no means made an attack on another commenter. I felt that was a poor choice in moderating, allowing the flame throwing original post and not the response equal in it's absurdity.

I read the regional editorial pages. I watch city council meetings. I pose questions and ideas in this forum. I understand how difficult it is for any conversation to stay on topic, with or without heavy handed moderation.

I think beaconcitizen does a pretty good job of keeping things on track with a light touch.

Comment by Elaine russo on December 20, 2013 at 3:52pm
Mark , I making Beacon more enjoyable for ALL residents is admirable. People have been walking Beacons streets for years, granted with gaps. I used to shop Main Street more than I do now. Many of the new buineesses opening now are not of intrest to many of the residents. Shops that are only open odd hours, bread bakeries that don't have bread, art galleries of varying quality. I have lost count of how many coffee houses we now have. How many do we need? Apparently locavores don't mind importing coffee. Opinions are stated as fact. A walkable Beacon ( a pedestrian mall?) will make a better Beacon. If you disagree you are apparently not for a "better Beacon"
Comment by Albert Krump on December 20, 2013 at 11:54am

So how come this TC guys personal attack on me was allowed?

Comment by Mark Roland on December 20, 2013 at 9:23am

And by the way, TC, you misunderstand censorship. You can post a post here all about your views on parking, or buy moreparkingonmainstreet.com and post away to your heart's content. When you are no longer allowed to do those things, that's censorship.

Comment by Ben Royce on December 20, 2013 at 9:18am

The policy of beaconcitizen is that you can express any opinion you want but you can't attack people personally.

Within that policy, beaconcitizen allows top levels posts to be moderated by the top level poster however they see fit.

This stems from an unfortunate incident a few years ago with a thread that attracted over 50 comments on positive thoughts about growing business on Main Street, but then someone decided to after someone politically, and the top level poster felt it necessary to delete the whole thread. We'd rather lose individual posts than an entire thread that was overwhelmingly constructive.

Comment by Mark Roland on December 20, 2013 at 9:14am

One thing you can say is I'm not afraid to attach my real name to my opinions. I find it's  often the people who cloak their identities who scream the loudest about "censorship."

The only comment I did not post was one you left on Wigwam, which attacked another commenter and used stereotypes to describe people who have lived in Beacon longer than you. Albert's comment was borderline, and of course by letting that through it inspired you. But he did not directly attack another commenter.

I set my posts to allow moderation. I'm interested in an exchange of ideas, not flame wars and personal insults. If that's your thing, post your posts and go for it. I look at people submitting a comment as a letter to the editor--newspapers don't publish every diatribe or raging screed or personal  attack submitted.

By the way, anyone can moderate their own post on Beacon Citizen Network. And since I own and pay for the www.wigwameconomy.com domain, I also have moderator privileges there.

Comment by TC on December 20, 2013 at 8:12am

I'm not sure if this post will go public, but it's worth noting that apparently Mark has moderator (veto) privileges at both this site and wigwam. In my opinion, he refused to post my admittedly snarky but not inaccurate or directly insulting counter-post to Albert's trolling.

I've watched every single one of my posts on this site devolve into partisan off-topic bickering. Every single one. But that's life, because apparently that's where people wanted the conversation to go.

I don't know why Mark is trying to siphon off traffic to his new site while maintaining control over comments on beaconcitizen.com as well, but be aware that in his effort to keep the dialog "civil" he is censoring your voices.

Not all of us follow the magical thinking that if you don't provide an adequate parking plan, people will automatically just walk or buy a bike. We also don't like to be censored for simply pointing out the absurd.

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