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Hearing attendees favor current transit site

Monroe Davis presents a petition with signatures in support of keeping the transit station at its current location during Tuesday's public forum at the government center.

Monroe Davis presents a petition with signatures in support of keeping the transit station at its current location during Tuesday's public forum at the government center.

ALBANY, Ga. -- More than 40 Albany citizens, most of them regular riders of the Albany Transit System, attended a public hearing at the downtown Government Center here Tuesday to hear an update on a long-delayed multimodal transit site being considered by the Albany City Commission.

Assistant City Manager Wes Smith told those gathered an environmental assessment would be completed before the commission determines which of three sites -- at 300 W. Oglethorpe Blvd., 732 W. Oglethorpe and at 1121 Gillionville Road -- will be built using some $4.5 million in federal funding.

photo

Joe Bellacomo

Albany Assistant City Manager Wes Smith conducts Tuesday's a transit hearing concerning Albany's multimodal site at the government center.

"There is no picked or ranked site," Smith said before showing artist renderings of the three sites, at the current Trailways bus station, at the former Heritage House hotel and at the former Carmike Cinemas. "The evaluation of each could change during the environmental assessment."

Mayor Dorothy Hubbard, City Manager James Taylor, Transit Director David Hamilton, and city commissioners Jon Howard, Bob Langstaff, Ivey Hines and Christopher Pike were among those who attended the meeting.

"What we hear from these citizens today is going to impact our decision a whole bunch," Pike said. "These are the people who use the bus system."

Wendy Laramore, Willie Robinson and Yvette Caseman were among the hearing attendees who took Smith up on his invitation to comment on the proposed multimodal site, which has been in the works for more than a decade.

"I've been riding the city buses off and on since 1973," Laramore, 62, said. "Where it is now (at 300 W. Oglethorpe), I feel safe. If you move it somewhere where it's isolated, you're putting my life in danger."

Robinson added, "The thing should stay where it is and revive it. You don't need to put elderly citizens in danger. I'd also like to see you city commissioners ride the bus so you can really see how it impacts people's lives."

Caseman decried the routes and service provided by the transit system, and Hamilton told the group a public hearing on possible route changes would be held April 17.

Former Dougherty County Commissioner Victor Edwards, owner of Edwards Enterprise Services, said he and other community leaders held a "prayer vigil" Monday in an effort to keep the transit system at its current location. He said around 80 citizens showed up for the gathering.

"It's about these people who rely on this service to get around Albany, and it's about the local vendors who would lose their jobs if a new owner took over (the transit system)," Edwards said. "There are at least eight contractors whose people would lose jobs if the city moves the transit system to a new site.

"We'd like to see them keep it where it is and use the (federal funding) to make improvements."

Monroe Davis said the current location of the transit system had historical significance to citizens in the city's Harlem District as he presented a petition that he said had more than 750 signatures. The petition asked that the system remain where it is.

"Our forefathers planted a seed in this neighborhood, and we've watered it," Davis said. "Y'all have a chance to help it grow, to make it better. Y'all are always talking about building up downtown, but if you take this bus station away, it will kill downtown Albany."

Comments

VietVet1 1 year, 8 months ago

"artist renderings of the three sites"

Ummm, wonder what it each design cost? My bet is the old Heritage House location since the city got a "deal" on that!

And for those that showed up to display their choice. Your leaders really don't care.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

"And for those that showed up to display their choice. Your leaders really don't care."

And people thought these leaders were there to represent the people, that is why they were voted in. They say you don't get what you pay for, and you also don't get what you vote for.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 8 months ago

Now now you should not point out that one commissioner would not stay off his phone. Guess his was checking to see if "that" money was deposited in his bank yet or maybe checking on all his facebook pals

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MRKIA 1 year, 8 months ago

MY OPINION IS THAT THE CURRENT LOCATION IS NOT LARGE ENOUGH. LAND WISE.

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jglass 1 year, 8 months ago

Leaders, listen to what the riders say. Renovate the current site and be done with it. Stop spending money trying to move the station. Renovate..............if it's not broke, don't fix it!!!

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whattheheck 1 year, 8 months ago

Since the city does not own the current site and Destiny will still need its operations, will we be owning or leasing if this site is chosen? Will we be "tied at the hip" with Destiny from now own? And what is the driving force behind a group of influential locals who don't ride the bus strongly touting this site?

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

The influential locals who don't ride the buses don't wish to see "Little Harlem District" go into the crapper. Think of what will happen to Jimmy's Hotdogs...

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 8 months ago

The property will be bought from Destiny. This is the only site that makes good business sense so we can forget the commissioners choosing it.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

Good point, Robinson!! The Commissioners need to ride the bus for a day just to really get an understanding of what the riders go through everyday. I agree 100% with Robinson's statement.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

Some of those bus riders goes to Jimmies Hot dogs while waiting for the bus. All these city leaders see is unnecessary things like that arch above the bridge and those signs leading in Albany. If you want to make Albany look good, mow all the grass and weeds and pave all the streets that need paving. They just want a big fancy new bus terminal that is unneeded. Just remodel the current location.

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RedEric 1 year, 8 months ago

A group of machines in our plant were hard to clean. The managers spent several hours thinking up elaborate schemes to automatically clean themselves or automatically exchanged the dirty subassembly. All hugely expensive and great sources of maintenance problems. I went out to the operators and after talking to them bought a longer handle cleaning brush. They were happy. This is a common story. People get into positions and have no business being there. All engineers know the KISS principle. Only idiots get elaborate.

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paschalj 1 year, 8 months ago

Jeremy Keeping the Transist Station at its current location is totally unacceptable. Keeping customers for Jimmys' Hotdog is Jimmy's owner business. People of Albany, this is a Inter Modal Transit Station, something for the future and it should be built for the future...not with the interest of individuals that have personal gains to made with the Transit Station sitting in a crowded corner, with no growth/expansion possibilities. With more room this Facility would not only serve Greyhound, Destiny, other Transportation Companies, it could also have access to Trains, Airport Shuttles, Hotel/Motel Shuttles, Shopping Complexes, easy access to Downtown for jobs and Shopping, and more...we limit ourselve with no vision....and complacency.

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Somebody 1 year, 8 months ago

You're probably not a tax payer so it wouldn't bother you spending taxpayers money on something that is not needed. Just like Democrats, their only vision is to throw other peoples money away.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

There are growth possibilities for the current bus station. I have seen plans that were not presented at the hearing from others in the community who have drawn them up and they make total sense and would be cheaper to do. I don't know why they keep calling it "Multi-modal" when a passenger train is NOT going to come through here any time soon. If you wish to see the plans contact me on here via private message. I would be happy to let you take a look see.

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KaosinAlbany 1 year, 8 months ago

Oh, and the Commission will not even consider the plans I have seen. They just want to spend, spend, spend and not try to save money in the long run.

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whattheheck 1 year, 8 months ago

If there is a "better mousetrap" available and the city won't consider it, why don't those with the plan take it to the people through the press? The Herald is always looking for stories and this one sounds like it could be interesting. Fletcher might be interested, like the story he did on John Hayes and Orlando Rambo et al on revitalizing the Harlem district a year or so ago. Ties right into that plan as I recall it.

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Abytaxpayer 1 year, 8 months ago

@Pas what have you been smoking? Inter Modal Transit Station, something for the future ,,,,,so you really have no clue.

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jglass 1 year, 8 months ago

paschalj, remember you are in Albany, not Atlanta. VSU, I have to agree with you.

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VSU 1 year, 8 months ago

Thanks, and that's another thing, some leaders are trying to make Albany like Atlanta. It ain't gonna happen and they will not even come close. This is Albany, Ga, not a big city like Atlanta.

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