It’s a new year and we in Albany have a new mayor. I’ve been thinking about some changes which I would welcome in 2014 and here’s what I’ve come up with…
1. It would be awesome if Albany drivers would recognize that a yellow light means slow down, not speed up. Maybe we could collectively work on this, fellow Albanians?
2. Running around the neighborhood in the throes of winter is an exercise in navigation as I contend with unshoveled sidewalks. Could we maybe pair high school students in need of community service credit with seniors who might welcome a hand with this chore?
3. Imagine if Washington Park had a gas line to power up all those vendor trucks during festivals? Would you miss the drone and exhaust of those diesel generators they currently use?
4. Albany has lots of cool historic sites and museums. I would love to see some sort of discount card for residents to encourage their attendance at some of these places. Maybe even a reward (a cup of coffee or discounted baked good from a local business?) if individuals visited a certain number of sites would be possible.
5. The Lakehouse in Washington Park is underused. Let’s get a café in there or a series of open mics/poetry readings to get people inside that beautiful building.
6. Albany seems to be the double parking capital of the northeast. How about channeling Guiliani and his quality of life campaign? Ticket them! Post a police officer by a frequently run red lights and attempt to correct the behavior of those who fail to acknowledge that red means STOP.
7. When I take my regular 5 mile run I often think how cool it would be if Albany had a dirt track or path between the sidewalk and the curb for runners. Is that possible?
8. Speaking of outdoor exercise, in the warmer months the Corning Preserve of Washington Park parade grounds would lend themselves to al fresco yoga classes, don’t you think?
9. As long as I’m indulging my own personal pipe dreams, wouldn’t it be amazing if residents could earn credit on their property tax bill by “adopting” a beautification project in the city? You know, maintain a public garden or median green patch or be responsible to dig out all the fire hydrants in an area of town.
10. On a related note, for those of us who like to pay their property tax bill in person, on the 31st of January, of course, would it be possible to have some recycling bins available in City Hall for residents who may need another one? I’d rather not have to go to DGS to replace one of mine which recently went missing.
11. I’d love to see a winter carnival in this fine city. Capital Hills or Lincoln Park would be perfect locations – sledding, cross-country skiing, snowman building and snowshoeing activities would be a blast. Maybe some local sports stores could bring rental equipment and run clinics and we could get a couple of food trucks for warm up refreshments. Sounds
12. The former Friendly’s on Delaware Avenue has been vacant for years. Can we either renovate and lease it or tear it down? It’s an ugly eyesore in my neighborhood!
13. Can we agree to retire the phrase Smalbany? Perhaps banish it to an island along with the Kardashians and Miley Cyrus?
14. We’ve got some exciting political energy going on locally. Let’s work with our elected leaders to encourage smart growth and positive attitudes in this New Year. I know we can make it a good one, friends.
How about you? What can you add to this list?