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Comment Archives: Stories: News + Opinion: City

Re: “CCTA Uses Eminent Domain to Acquire Properties

Using Federal (taxpayer from you and I) dollars to sue adjoining landowner because they've now decided they want to buy the building back from this same person? The more people read this article the better, I am disgusted by this misuse of power. Something is wrong with this system where if they don't use the federal dollars they go back to Uncle Sam. Instead of funding an unnecessary lawsuit (they already owned the building not that long ago and voluntarily sold it to Michael Ryan, right?) these dollars should go to major issues such as heating/weatherization costs for Vermont's vulnerable. Being a public entity created for the people, something is wrong here do you agree? My toddler behaves better than CCTA in my opinion.

Posted by Ben Thomas on 08/31/2014 at 9:55 AM

Re: “Burlington's No-Trespass Ordinance Is Working, But Its Days May Be Numbered

One of the unfortunate realities of a "free" society, is that people have the freedom to make bad choices, as well as, good choices. In much the same way a "good" decision can have an impact on not only the decision maker, nearby people and potentially society at large, the same is true of bad decisions.

The true test of a persons commitment to the constitution and concept of a free society is not found in how vigorously they defend the rights of those with whom they agree, it is found in the defense of the rights of those with whom one disagrees.

One thing, in particular, which I find very interesting in all of this, is the very people who should be most cognizant of the constitution and rule of law are the same people pushing a "solution" that is so blatantly unconstitutional. Sounds like a fail to me.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Durwood Mark Collier on 07/05/2014 at 10:16 AM

Re: “Burlington Considers Its Parking Options

Just go to the library and read The High Cost of Free Parking by Donald Shoup. All the answers are in there.

Posted by Robert Orr on 06/26/2014 at 6:27 PM

Re: “Winooski Plans to Improve Arteries

I love most of the changes in Downtown Winooski - including those at the Mill. The current tenants are preserving a wonderful treasure in that building. The one shortsighted direction in the changes at the Mill would be that no large trucks can make deliveries - limiting the types of businesses that could be there. I only state this because the glaring omission in Winooski's downtown is a real grocery store (there are a few convenience stores with a very limited selection of staple items). Another restaurant is great, but most Winooski residents can't afford to eat out for every meal - I know I can't. Many agree that Winooski has moved in the right direction. I can walk from one end of town to the other, bike with relative safety through much of the area (the circle being the exception - though I can walk through safely) - but living in a food desert is a challenge that shouldn't have gone this long without a resolution. In such a concentrated community it seems there's no lack of customer base.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Ma on 06/17/2014 at 12:30 PM

Re: “Winooski Plans to Improve Arteries

It wasn't noted in the story but I'm sure that others have noticed the relatively recent shut-down of those completely asinine pedestrian crossing lanes with traffic lights at the Winooski traffic circle. The whole point of the traffic circle is to move traffic around it in one direction. There are pedestrian crossings at all 4 corners of the circle, at which pedestrians only have to contend with crossing one lane of traffic traveling in only one direction. To put walking lanes with stoplights smack dab in the center of the traffic circle, cutting across 2 lanes of traffic was absolutely the dumbest decision made re: Winooski downtown development. I'm glad to see that these stupid lights are not in-operation any longer.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Lee Stirling on 06/12/2014 at 2:26 PM

Re: “Burlington Considers Its Parking Options

It seems like no matter how sterilized and mall-like we make our cities there will always be people who would rather just go to the mall. Convenience above all else. If you avoid Burlington (not to mention NYC, Montreal, Boston, etc...) because the parking garages are smelly your mind probably won't be changed by fancy parking technology.

Posted by Shippy on 06/06/2014 at 9:51 AM

Re: “Burlington Considers Its Parking Options

Just a historical perspective - The Burlington Business Association along with the Burlington Parking and Transportation Council back in 1999 actually spearheaded the 2-Hour Free Parking Program in City garages to help support Burlington downtown businesses compete with the retail growth taking place in Williston where there was free parking. This program has been a huge success for the past 15 years for many reasons. Everyone coming into town appreciates having free parking if only for 2-hours. The 2-Hour free parking was supported by a tax assessment to businesses which we are still paying. Mayor Peter Clavelle worked with the Burlington Business Association to make this program work. I encourage the Parking Committee to support the continuation of 2-hours of free parking in all City Garages - it is very important to the economic vitality and success of all of our downtown merchants.
Melinda Moulton Past Chair of BBA and the Burlington Parking and Transportation Council and CEO of Main Street Landing.

1 like, 0 dislikes
Posted by Melinda on 06/05/2014 at 1:58 PM

Re: “Cyclist Spencer Tackles Parking and Potholes

Like it or not, it's part of running public processes to have people show up to talk about what they want and need. If DPW were biased toward bikes, why would advocates need to show up in droves for a public meeting? Also, North Ave is not just a New North End issue.. Kids who would like to ride bikes to BHS, Leddy, and North Beach must use that street from all over the city, and, it's very unsafe -- see the Seven Days WTF article in this same issue.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by CityLover on 06/04/2014 at 5:07 PM

Re: “A Suspicious Death Draws Attention to Burlington's Homeless Encampments

The cost of allowing people to use land isn't the cost of the land itself-- obviously that's no cost at all, as you have to go out of your way to even notice the camps exist. The cost is that if lower cost housing were available than the cheapest apartments, these would not be the only people who need it.

A lot of people are just barely able to afford apartments, and are kept in those unsustainable indebted lifestyles only by precisely these efforts to make it impossible for them to live in the woods. There are also many more thousands of people who would choose to live in the woods, were it allowed, as it would let them be employed less doing things they enjoy more.

In short, allowing people to live cheaply would provoke a cultural transformation. The oppression and destruction of these camps should be understood as mostly an attempt to forcefully maintain this culture and the profit it generates.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Brett W on 05/31/2014 at 4:10 PM

Re: “A Suspicious Death Draws Attention to Burlington's Homeless Encampments

How hard can it be to accommodate people who are asking for something so meager as a piece of land to use for a camp site? Seems like it would be possible to rent and maintain a lot of campsite space for the equivalent cost of a few rent-subsidized apartments.

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Moe Kinney on 05/31/2014 at 11:19 AM

Re: “Burlington's No-Trespass Ordinance Is Working, But Its Days May Be Numbered

It depends if Church St. is still a public street or not. If it IS a public street, I have no idea how this thing passed in the first place. it's it's private property, well then that's a different story. Some cities have given up their rights to their own street with very odd results. In a beautiful irony, "Downtown Silver Spring" in Maryland, is private property. No one knew this until people who were taking pictures on what had been a public street for decades were told "sorry no picture taking allowed here." And to make matters even more confusing, the municipality of Silver Spring runs "Silver Spring Downtown" which includes the private property, but includes some public space as well.

1 like, 1 dislike
Posted by Tom A. on 05/09/2014 at 9:48 AM

Re: “Burlington's No-Trespass Ordinance Is Working, But Its Days May Be Numbered

To be clear, people can legally be banned by the Merchant association from all member stores within the Church Street Marketplace - as they are all private property. The issue at hand is the ban from the public street in it's entirety. I agree that it's completely unconstitutional - keep in mind, the street level is mostly retail, however the rest is mixed use with not only housing, medical, dental and mental health practitioners and business offices - but in fact the City Hall, the city offices, the conference room(s) where city councilors meet and the public viewing area(s) for those meetings. Banning residents from accessing the street where City Offices is located sure seems unconstitutional to me.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Ma on 05/09/2014 at 9:35 AM

Re: “Burlington's No-Trespass Ordinance Is Working, But Its Days May Be Numbered

It's telling that the state's attorney for the county won't appeal Kupe's dismissal. That's a tacit acknowledgement that the ordinance cannot survive briefing and a constitutional challenge.

What's almost is bad is Chief Schirling fear mongering that somehow reinstating the status quo from a year ago will somehow lead to a massive influx of undesirables on Church St. This is and has always been about catering to the Church Street merchants.

If Burlington wants to remove these folks from Church St. then they need to completely relocate all their services from downtown.

3 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by raincntry on 05/08/2014 at 10:04 PM

Re: “Burlington's No-Trespass Ordinance Is Working, But Its Days May Be Numbered

The only people who should receive a no-trespass order from Church St or anywhere for that matter - is anyone, anyone at all who is actively threatening, harassing and violent. If said person is a danger to themselves or others they should be asked to leave. How law enforcement categorizes such activity is questionable and needs to be discussed among Burlingtonians to agree on where to draw the line. Targeting individuals based on perceived social status and deemed suspected deviants due to appearance and the like is an outright injustice...as is banning people who are poor and homeless from the area etc.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Claire Marton on 05/08/2014 at 3:47 PM

Re: “Burlington's No-Trespass Ordinance Is Working, But Its Days May Be Numbered

The examples given of people causing trouble within stores are a red herring. A store owner, or the owner of any private property has the right to issue a no trespass order to anyone the owner deems to be undesirable, so long as the order does not discriminate against a protected class under the Public Accommodations Act.
The rationale for this ordinance sounds a lot like what we heard from NYC justifying "Stop and Frisk."

4 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Barry Kade on 05/08/2014 at 2:38 PM

Re: “CCTA Strike Moves Into Week Three, Bringing Devilish Details Along for the Ride

Ugh, I work 12 hours in a row all the time. Sign me up for a spread shift!

4 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Joe Banks on 04/02/2014 at 6:03 PM

Re: “CCTA Strike Moves Into Week Three, Bringing Devilish Details Along for the Ride

Meanwhile my best friend suffers, sometimes unable to do the 4 hour total walk to and from his paltry paying gig in Williston. You all should be ashamed.

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by blago4prez on 04/02/2014 at 3:51 PM

Re: “CCTA Strike Moves Into Week Three, Bringing Devilish Details Along for the Ride

Jon - two 8-hour shifts wouldn't work because there just isn't enough work to do in the middle of the day. There is no 8-hour period of time where it is busy during that entire time period. It's busy for 4 or so hours in the morning and 4 or so hours in the evening. The ONLY way to employ this many people (~70) full time is to have split shifts.

3 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Cathy on 04/02/2014 at 3:13 PM

Re: “CCTA Strike Moves Into Week Three, Bringing Devilish Details Along for the Ride

That was an incredibly clear and informative article. Thank for sorting this out for all of us who want to know what is really going on.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by damonbclark on 04/02/2014 at 2:33 PM

Re: “CCTA Strike Moves Into Week Three, Bringing Devilish Details Along for the Ride

I'm wondering why they don't expand the hours from 13.75 to 16, and then just have two full shifts of 8 hours. It would expand the service as they want, and keep the drivers happy negating the need for part-time drivers.

Though, to be fair, I haven't read all of the information and can only base my above statement on the little bit of information I have seen thus far.

1 like, 2 dislikes
Posted by Jon Gallup on 04/02/2014 at 1:59 PM

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