Thursday, March 24, 2005

Urban Planning and Consultants

So you may know that the city likes to hire consultants to figure out The Plan for the future of Albany. We've got the Strategic Advisory Group telling us that a convention center will be a big success in Albany. These are the "experts" that also helped out St. Louis and Washington DC with their convention centers. Those two centers are two of the biggest money losers in the country. The Strategic Advisory Group didn't mention that bit of info in their report on Albany. Lots more info on them here if you care to read it.

And for the new Midtown Plan the city hired some consultants from Chicago. In today's Metroland you can read an article about the plan. One of the points in the article is that the Midtown Plan includes drawings that show a "new hotel and conference center" in Park South. You can see it yourself in this document. It's on page 9. This has been questioned by some residents. The questions run along the lines of "what the fuck?! Isn't there another planned Convention Center in Albany? " However, according to planning commissioner Lori Harris there is no cause for alarm.

"All that dot means is that the midtown consultants thought that the area around University Heights could sustain a hotel/convention center".

Hmm. With the amount of our tax dollars being spent on these consultants is it too much to ask that they review the other current plans for the city like...perhaps...the largest planned investment since the Empire State Plaza? I don't think that's being too picky. But apparently these consultants created a plan for all of midtown with NO knowledge of the planned Albany Convention Center. If they missed that, it makes you wonder what other things they don't know about Albany which then makes you wonder if their plan is worth the paper its printed on.

Good luck everyone. Here is to hoping your house or neighborhood doesn't fall prey to an errant consultant's "dot".

"We're sorry we tore down your house, sir, but there was a dot on the plan so it had to go".