Friday, February 17, 2006

Taming Twenty Miles Of Ugly

Transforming The Turnpike, From Elmont To East Meadow

All of the talk about Empire Zones, the new Suburbanization, and the revitalization of our "downtowns" and "Main Street" has made us very hungry -- for ideas, for real-time plans, for action.

And so, we put the question out to you, the loyal stalwarts of community, "What is your vision for the rebirth of the Turnpike, the Boulevard, the Avenue or the Road you commonly refer to as your hometown's "downtown?"

Giving life back to our "Main Streets" -- and, in some communities, creating "Main Street" as a first impression -- will take all of us thinking, visualizing, discussing, and acting resolutely to bring about results (in our lifetime) that are aesthetically appealing, economically productive, and people-friendly.

Do we accept the challenge and move our communities -- and our island -- forward? Or do we rest on the laurels of others' words, finding that next year, or five years from now, we are no further along the road to renewal than we are today?

Yes, this will separate the community advocates from the talking heads, the civic activists from the potted plants. Is it time to get started as we advance the cause of the revival of our business districts? You bet it is!

No better place to start than right here and right now. "Guest Blog," anyone? The wrecking ball and the corner stone are, as they say, in your hands, ladies and gentlemen. There is much work to be done.

Let's get to it!

The tools have been placed before us. What we do with them is entirely up to YOU!
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Click HERE to check out

Click HERE to see what other communities are doing at
Check out some Streetscape improvement projects, near and far:
Loydminster, Canada
Austin, Texas
Seattle, Washington
Sydney, Australia
Renton, Washington

Many places, from center cities to outer suburbs, have given new life to their "Main Streets," making "Downtown" the place to live, to work, to play.

Why not Long Island? Why not TODAY?


  1. "Why not Long Island? Why not today?"

    Because we have so many layers of bureaucracy (I dare not call it "government," as there is little in the way of actual governing) on Long Island, incapable - individually or collectively - of maintaining our roads, enforcing building codes, cleaning the trash from the street, or even planting a tree.

    To top it of, each layer has a hand in our pockets, so at the end of the day there's simply no money left for even the basics of community (i.e., parks, housing, transportation, to name a few), let alone the wholesale redevelopment of our "downtowns."

    Great vision, lofty ideals, nice ideas. When it comes to going from paper to pavement, however, don't count on fellow Long Islanders picking up the shovel, and don't look to village, town, county or state government to pick up the tab.

  2. Even with a $115 million Highway Bond that we'll be paying for in increased property taxes, the Town of Hempstead can't maintain our roads.

    Still, what is being said here is true. Whether our communities die or thrive is in our hands.

    If the Corbins, Schmitts, Murrays or Suozzis don't do it, we should vote in representatives who will.

    It really is up to us to make things happen.

  3. Talk is cheap but taxes aren't, does anyone really believe we can compete with other states? Now the new empire zone will serve those business owners who are already here. The government will give them tax breaks and ask for nothing in return, only that they stay here. No clean up no money to make their business look nice, not a bad deal for business. HOW ABOUT THE HOMEOWNER WHO DOESN'T RENT? Even if a business were to come to Elmont or any other place within the zone, where would those workers live? Does anyone have a brain? Or do they take all of us as fools? Maybe they can crack down on more sheds after all their
    friends can block the streets with their trucks and rent out homes and feel safe. Would those new business have to pay the same sanitary tax or do they get a break from that as well.