AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 3rdOF DECEMBER, 2002, AT THE NISKAYUNA TOWN OFFICE BUILDING, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, IN SAID TOWN, AT 7 P.M., THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT:
HONORABLE LIZ ORZEL KASPER COUNCILWOMAN
WILLIAM CHAPMAN COUNCILMAN
RICHARD A. HOLT COUNCILMAN
LUKE J. SMITH SUPERVISOR
ABSENT: DIANE P. O’DONNELL COUNCILWOMAN
Others present: Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller; Richard Pollock, Superintendent of Water & Sewer.
A public hearing was held to amend the Vehicle & Traffic Code to limit parking on Clifton Park Road between Lexington Parkway and Baker Avenue.
Ms. Hoiby, corner of Lexington Parkway & Clifton Park Road, spoke in favor of the amendment to restrict parking on Clifton Park Road.
Chad Kaiser, Highland Park Road, parks on Clifton Park Road during the day. He feels there is enough room for buses to get by and he knows students do not block driveways. He feels the students try not to dig up lawns. A parking spot costs $50 and he can’t afford this. He feels this is a public street and thinks parking should be allowed. He felt prohibiting parking on both sides is too much, and asked if “no parking” could be limited to one side. His school bus comes at 6:55 a.m., he has a hard time getting up in the morning and he has a job he starts at 3 p.m. The bus arrives at at school about 30 minutes before classes start. He leaves his home at 7:15 or 7:20 and makes it to class just in time. He doesn't’ like to get up
early and it is cold waiting for the bus.
Supervisor Smith described an older resident of Clifton Park Road whose life revolves around card parties. She has not been able to have these because her friends who are in their early 80’s cannot park close enough to her house.
Chad felt a lot of people cannot afford the parking fees and some have after-school jobs. They have a hard time paying for insurance and gas. He also stated that he sometimes arrives at school late and finds spots on Clifton Park Road. This leaves him to believe that this road is not always packed with cars. St. James Square and Town Hall are only open to juniors this year. The senior parking lot does have open spaces but 170 spots have been sold with 162 actual spaces. This lot is not available to him as a junior. He does not feel like there are miles of cars to get around for residents who wish to walk in front of their homes. He would park an additional block away if “no parking” signs went up on Clifton Park Road.
Faith Donovan, 1922 Clifton Park Road, have had a problem with parked cars for about a year. The street becomes narrower and it is more difficult for pedestrians to get by. The card party neighbor used to walk in front of her house with a walker which is about the only exercise she got. She used to get out frequently and she no longer can. When the students return it is too late in the day for her. The students never block the driveways, but there is increased traffic and litter on the road. She often picks up the litter, which is not a huge deal, but is somewhat annoying. She has been driven off the road when a school bus did not see her because of the cars parked near the corner of Lexington Parkway. She has called the police about
cars parked so close to the corner, which she believes, is in violation. Some cars don’t slow down much when turning onto Clifton Park Road and creates a dangerous situation. There are a lot of pedestrians and the road is so narrow there is no longer room for a pedestrian and a car, nor room for two cars to pass each other. Cars have backed up onto Lexington Parkway when cars were approaching from the opposite direction and there wasn’t room for both cars. Between Lexington Parkway and Coolidge it becomes a one-way street, yet it has two-way traffic.
Some drivers drive the wrong way on the street or they head down Lexington Parkway the wrong way and cut through a driveway that is a cut-through to Clifton Park Road.
Max Demichi, 1151 Hedgewood Lane, felt that getting parking passes from school is very difficult. The school allows off-grounds passes so students like to use their free time by using their car rather than take the bus. They can have 1-1/2 to 2 hours free. They have the liberty of having free time at school and have the liberty of owning a car. Yet they are being asked not to take advantage of these liberties and being asked to take the bus. Seniors who have off-grounds passes and don’t have a car either stay in school or they go out with their friends. Some students have internships as part of their program, where are they supposed to park? Supervisor Smith stated that there are spaces still available at St. James Square and at Town Hall. Mr. Demichi stated that it would help if there were more spaces available so students wouldn’t have to use spaces away from the high school. He felt that everyone’s freedom’s have to be upheld.
Councilwoman Kasper stated that this is a school problem that is impinging on the neighborhoods where people have a right to free access to their homes. Students are considering their rights, and homeowners are considering theirs. The Board is also attempting to resolve a safety issue.
Supervisor Smith stated that this sounds like an issue for student government. If students have internships and can’t get parking spaces this is an issue. He drove to the parking lot and saw at least 15 empty spaces all at the farthest end of the lot. Although he has been told that these students are off campus, he felt it was not coincidental that the open spots were all together at the farthest end of the lot. Residents certainly have a right to have parking spaces in front of their homes. Properties should not be devalued because they are close to a school.
Kenny Grieve, Clifton Park Drive and Lexington Parkway, asked for clarify of what the problem was at the High School. There was a plan to add 110 parking spaces and that may not happen because of the cost.
Adam Austin, 308 Lincoln Mall, asked what businesses would be coming into St. James Square that would interest students on a pass from the high school.
Supervisor Smith reviewed other communication he had received from residents such as Faith Donovan and Mrs. VanNess who are in favor of no parking on Clifton Park Road.
Mr. Patel, Dublin Drive, asked how resident’s friends would be able to park if the no parking signs were approved. No parking would be 8-9 a.m. and 1-2 p.m.
Stephan Borsincilo, 809 Red Oak Drive, felt that the Council is biased since they are homeowners and they have no idea of the troubles the students face these days with riding the bus. He rides the bus every morning and has lost a lot of sleep because of this. His schoolwork has suffered because of having to wake up so early. He would like to be able to get to school on time in his own car without the loss of sleep, which is very important to him.
Dave Houser, 37 Covington Court, is a senior and has parked at St. James. If parking is pushed back students will still park on the street. Pushing the parking back makes the students walk an extra 100 feet in the cold. The bus arrives at the front of the school at 7:10 a.m. which is too early.
Evan Brown, 12 Tamerack Lane, is getting a job and car soon. He has an off grounds pass and will start a job at 3 p.m. He has no parking pass and would be forced to parked in the closest area to the school. As a senior he can’t buy a pass at St. James and can’t get a pass in the senior lot.
Leslie Gold, 1919 Pawtucket Avenue, is upset with the school district and feels like the problem has been pushed onto the Town Board and suggested that a copy of the minutes of this meeting be sent to the School Board. Students have made it clear that the parking problem is going to continue.
Pat Hart, Rexford, has a full schedule, but because of block scheduling has a two-hour block of unscheduled time when he goes home. He has a parking spot and stated that the lot is full at 7:30 a.m. Supervisor Smith disagreed and said he has never seen it filled and continually sees 15 to 20 spots unfilled, all of which are the farthest spaces.
Alyse Seamore, 2240 Webster Drive, thinks the high school needs to work with the community. She also feels that the students need to be informed about the regulations regarding parking near intersections and driveways and that everyone needs to work together. Supervisor Smith stated that everyone has worked together. He has met with the Superintendent and space at St. James Square has been secured. She felt that the school needs to inform the students about local laws of where they are allowed and not allowed to park. It was suggested that an article be written for the Warrior newspaper, and that this is also a student government issue.
There being no further members who wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed the public hearing.
TOWN CLERK’S BUSINESS
The minutes of the Regular Meetings of September 24, October 22, and November 19, and the Special Meetings of October 15, and November 12 were approved with the addition of additional citizen commits for the minutes of November 19.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Adam Austin, 28 Lincoln Mall, inquired about tenants for St. James Square.
Chris Hatch, Balltown Road, wanted to inform the Board about harassment he and his friends receive every day at St. James Square. A Security Guard kicks them out or the police are called charging them with loitering if they are outside of a business for three or four minutes. Supervisor Smith has been told by the owner, Reggie Scott that patrons will not come to the facility of people are hanging out. It is his private property and he can have security if he chooses.
When no other members of the public wished to be heard, the Supervisor closed Privilege of the Floor.
Each of the following resolutions were approved by a vote of four ayes (Councilwoman O’Donnell was absent), unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2002-288, authorized a payment to James H. Maloy, in the amount of $16,820.66 for an emergency repair required on Beech Drive.
Resolution 2002-289, authorized the purchase of three defibrillators from Cardiac Science, at a total of cost of $5,870 to be financed through a grant received from the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services.
Resolution 2002-290, authorizes the purchase of three vehicles for the Police Department. One 2003 Chevrolet Impala will be purchased at a cost of $19,758.20 from Warnock Fleet & Leasing and paid with funds from the 2002 budget; and two 2003 Chevrolet Impala’s one standard sedan at a cost of $15,431 and one with police package at a cost of $19,758.20 from Warnock Fleet & Leasing paid with funds from the 2003 budget.
There being no further business to come before the Board, the Supervisor adjourned the Town Board meeting.
Helen F. Kopke, Town Clerk