New Paltz: New civic fad alert

There’s always at least one going, a civic fad, around here. Now the emerging fad is to invite the Ulster County Transportation Council’s bull into the downtown New Paltz china shop. The bull is supposed to “raze” the bus station and do something just marvelous with it.

I know it’s true because I read about it in the Fidelpaltz Gangbang-Provocateur,* our weekly paper.

The bull has, in fact, looked at so many options for charging through the china shop, so many, except for the “leave the damn bus station alone” option, sometimes called the “not fixing what’s not broken” option. The old null hypothesis.

Having studied the roadways of New Paltz very carefully when the “movers and shakers” were hot to mutilate the downtown and adjacent environs, to no discernible advantage at all, with the “One-Way Main Street” plan, I can predict in advance that “you,” whoever you are, cannot win this argument with me.

There is no good reason to raze, enlarge, relocate or mess at all with the bus station. The owner could spruce up the station and do all those things that owners of such properties tend to do when a building gets run down. And, yes, that space behind the Citgo station across Prospect Street could be used as a parking lot. But that’s nothing radical and will not affect the immediate function of the station, which for starters functions very well.

The buses do not even need help making the left out of Prospect onto Main to head up to the Thruway. The bus drivers are masters of the poke out and nudge method of making that turn. I don’t recall ever having a long wait on a bus at that intersection. Do ya think that maybe drivers who are skilled at getting in and out of the Port Authority Bus Terminal might be able to handle that left?

Yes, you see, Madam Vandam and I have used that bus station routinely and often. The very early morning buses and the evening buses face little traffic. The rush hour buses face more traffic, but have no problem beyond being in the traffic. Buses come into the station and what do they do after that? They leave. And by doing so they make room for the next bus, should there be one, to come in. Three buses can fit comfortably into the station lot at a time, and a fourth can be squeezed in easily enough during a pinch (you should see, again, how packed in they are down in the Big City, as required).

And I don’t want to overlook that the station is quaintly and perfectly suited to the character of downtown, whether it needs a spruce up or not. It is in fact a contributing element of that character.

It is about two hundred yards up from P&G’s, the nominal center of the village. It’s convenient, accessible, serviceable, efficient — so why wouldn’t the Ulster County Transportation Council and the busybodies who run fast with every civic fad that comes along want to change it?

Let that bureaucratic county bull find itself another china shop.

* aka the New Paltz Times

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