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Sprawl and the NIMBY issue
Rochester has another "feather to add to our cap" of inefficient, archaic, over-the-top costs of government and development ("One More Point of Shame: We Excel in Sprawl," Urban Journal). The problem is, "it's always somebody else's problem."
May I remind the editor of City Newspaper that months ago this paper came out opposed to apartment development on University Avenue? The same old chestnuts of opposition were pranced out, when the fact is that stretch of University Avenue should be packed with people, sidewalk chatter, and all the mess that vibrant cities bring. Multiply that by tens or hundreds of decisions and ensuing uproars and you have the gist of our conundrum: Never make any changes in my backyard!
SHIRLEY M. DAWSON
Climate change and local action
The cover headline of City laments government inaction when it comes to climate change, but in Brighton, we take sustainability seriously. Brighton has signed on to become a Climate Smart Community ("Climate Change: It's All Up to You"). It may be up to you, as City's cover states, but in Brighton you're not in it alone.
Brighton is working hard to become a more walkable, bikeable community. We have completed a Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan, and are planning our first bicycle boulevard. We also plan to reduce South Clinton Avenue from four lanes to three south of Westfall Road, improving bicycle access to the Erie Canal Trail.
We are also developing two major trail projects. Highland Crossing Trail, a joint project with the City of Rochester, will connect the Erie Canal Trail at the Brighton Town Park on Westfall Road, with the Genesee River Trail, north of the U of R River Campus. This trail will provide access to downtown Rochester and the River Campus, and will be funded largely through a transportation grant. Second, a trail will be built from Elmwood Avenue near Town Hall through approximately 72 acres of newly acquired parkland to Westfall Road and Buckland Park, making it easier for families to enjoy this scenic and historically significant parkland in the heart of Brighton and to access Buckland Park.
Brighton will also transform Monroe Avenue, from the 12 Corners to Westfall Road, with a Green Infrastructure project, starting later this year. The project is funded by a $1.6 million New York State Regional Economic Development Corporation grant, and it will improve storm-water performance and enhance Monroe Avenue's appearance, making the Avenue more attractive to pedestrians and community-scale businesses.
We are also planning Brighton's sustainable future with a Comprehensive Plan update, funded under the Cleaner, Greener Communities program of the REDC. Brighton also has a volunteer Sustainability Committee, which provides guidance to town officials, and we were the first town in Monroe County to ban fracking and related activities.
Brighton is committed to a sustainable future, for our residents, for our businesses, and for our children, and we are working hard to make it happen.
Moehle is supervisor of the Town of Brighton.
Democracy, freedom, and lilacs
May I humbly say that Big Money and corruption are not just a Republican problem? ("Democracy for Sale," Urban Journal). The Democrats have their sugar daddies, too. It's really a ruling class problem, "Hudge and Gudge" (Big Business and Big Government), as G.K. Chesterton called it in his book, "What's Wrong with the World." The Republicrats and the Democans are both to blame.
Also, thank you for warning me about the ever-encroaching, cry-baby, nanny-state, overkill "security" measures this year at my beloved Lilac Festival. Fenced in? Bag search and show I.D. at the gate? Really? I'll smell the lilacs and avoid the vendors this year.
There are plenty of festivals around Rochester. I'll find one where I'm not treated like a prisoner and an animal, thank you very much. What was Ben Franklin's quote? Those who give up liberty for a little security deserve neither? Eh, he's a dead white guy, though. What did he know?
KURT GRIFFEN, NORTH CHILI