Writog? A writer-photographer. Citizen journalist. Unless indicated otherwise all content, text and images, here at www.writog.com (C) Copyright 2006 - 2017 Luke T. Bush

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Location: Plattsburgh, New York, United States

Writog: writer-photographer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Downtown Plattsburgh: Yours To Avoid

Once upon a time the City of Plattsburgh decided to run a TV spot to draw people back to its downtown. Of course, this folly ignored the fact that there was next to nothing downtown, that most of the action was outside the city limits at the malls.

The city hired a third-rate advertising agency to produce the spot. One of my friends, a musician, would be aggravated by the wrap-up of the ad that featured strep-throated singers shrieking: “Downtown Plattsburgh. Yours To Explore!” I’m not a musician but even my untrained ear was pained by the poorly-written, badly-executed jingle.

While the promo spot was being aired, I didn’t notice a surge in visitors to downtown. Any suckers who did fall for the ad soon realized that the only opportunity for exploration was pub-crawling.

Lately the city has skipped wasting the money on pointless promos and instead is vainly reconstructing downtown, screwing it up even more. Take a look at the west end of Bridge Street where it intersects with Margaret. For a while it was changed back to a two-way street, making it convenient for drivers. Now it’s being transformed into a one-way bottleneck.

And what happened to the taxi stand that used to be on Bridge Street? There was a big stink when the city had designated a couple of parking spots for cab drivers only. Both of Plattsburgh’s mainstream media outlets, the newspaper and the TV station, reported on the issue. It sounded that those spots were vital to the fiscal health of downtown. Tickets where issued to any non-taxi driver who trespassed on those forbidden areas. Now there doesn’t seem to be any room left to replace them.

One-way or two-way? Taxi stands or no taxi stands? Obviously Plattsburgh has no master plan; it just improvises along the way. Let’s try this. No, let’s try that. After all, if it doesn’t work, it’s only taxpayer money we’re wasting.

During a city common council meeting last year a downtown businessman vented his frustration to the mayor and the councilors. He summed up the situation best when he said: “You just throw crap on the wall and see what will stick.” (Thanks to a WIRY-Radio microphone, his comment was recorded for posterity.)

My advice to anyone considering a downtown visit: Stay the fuque away! The reconstruction just keeps dragging on. Key streets are ripped up to hell. If you want to damage your car, then come on down! If you want to get stuck in traffic, then join the crowd!

And after the “improvements” are finished? My advice: Stay the fuque away! The traffic flow will be worse than ever with the west end of Bridge Street being one-way for no good reason. And with streets like Brinkerhoff and Court that are partially two-way, then suddenly change into one-way streets, you’ll end up exploring in circles.


Blogger TourPro said...

I like the idea of making Margaret, between Bridge and Brinkerhoff a pedestrian-only zone. Better yet, all the way to Broad and include lower Brinkerhoff up to Oak.

Most people think I'm insane to propose such a radical plan, but it would go a long way in transforming downtown and eliminate the unnecessary driving in the heart of downtown.

7:51 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How about a little less negativity about Plattsburgh, and more balanced work, including some of the positive things that are going on? Perhaps a pic of the new office building and parking garage on Durkee St.?
You will find construction cones and traffic disruptions in any city in America during the summer months. So What? Streets and sidewalks wear down. Work has to be done. Right now Main Street in Lake Placid has one lane closed (we were there in May this year). I suppose if you lived there you would criticize Lake Placid for being inept and short-sighted.

You seem to be obsessed with dog turds, urine stains, trash, crumbling concrete (OK, the concrete is justified), and rowdy skateboarders. Fine. Hope you get a catharsis for whatever bugs you by verbally trashing the place you live in.

I started to read your weblog in hopes of getting perspectives from my hometown; instead its just a constant stream of one-sided ranting about municipal shortcomings.

For the record, I was born in Plattsburg, lived there for 43 years, and now live in western Illinois. My wife and I recently (May 2007) visited the 'Burgh to visit family -- we ate michigans at a local diner, walked down to the lake by the train station, (very pleasant), and enjoyed a peaceful few days in your city. It ain't all that bad, coming from an urban area of 400,000 people, we enjoyed the slower pace, and hope the city can finally find their niche and have a clean, prosperous downtown.

Keep up the reporting, we like to read about the 'Burgh.
But do it justice, my friend. Try looking up instead of down sometimes.

12:12 AM  
Blogger Luke T. Bush said...


Instead of screwing around with the traffic flow, the city of Plattsburgh should pay attention to attracting new shops and businesses downtown. Once they have the customer base, the city could study if turning parts of downtown into a pedestrian-only plaza would work.

4:14 PM  
Blogger Luke T. Bush said...


I blog for myself. Not for anyone else. I call it the way I see it, good or bad. If I wanted to pander to the public at large, I would become a PR flack at the Chamber of Commerce.

If you need a Plattsburgh-positive blog, then start one yourself. But I don’t see how you would provide firsthand reports about recent events in Plattsburgh since you’re now living in Illinois.

I’m here. You’re not.

4:18 PM  

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