Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Trouble With Colonie Center

Citizens for Public Transportation is unhappy with the renovations at Colonie Center Mall. They have moved the bus stop shelter away from the building up to Wolf Road. This creates an undue hardship for riders with disabilities and means that people taking the people will have to wait in the cold to catch a ride.

You may say, 'There are some parking spaces out that far, why should bus riders get special treatment?' Well, if you walk out to your car, dragging your shopping bags, do you have to stand around for another 15 minutes in the cold before you can get into a vehicle? If you have a disability and are lucky enough to still be able to drive, you get to park in the close in handicapped accessible parking. The Mall will tell you that the Star Bus for people with disabilities will still come up to the front entrance (but only the front entrance). The Star Bus is MUCH more expensive both for CDTA to operate, and for passengers to ride than the main line buses. How often have you been glad someone in your family could pull the car up to the curb so you didn't have to carry your shopping bags all the way through the parking lot?

Do you want to have to stand along Wolf Road late at night waiting for a bus?

And all for what? Well, Colonie Center won't say for sure. Sometimes they say it's to reduce congestion around the mall parking lots. Of course, that argument doesn't hold up. Buses reduce congestion. Every time your behind them remember that all the people on the bus are trying to get somewhere, and if they weren't on a bus they'd probably be driving one person to a car in front of you. They've said buses are an eyesore, that they smell. Well, so do giant sprawling parking lots, and the new cleaner buses CDTA is introducing will make this even less of an issue in the future. They say that they are upscaling the mall, that they are trying to attract a wealthier clientèle. That's fine, but if they do it at the expense of the community, the Federal, State, County and Town communities that pay for the roads that people come to shop at their mall on, well shame on them.

If you want to help us in our fight, write Colonie Center and let them know what they are doing is wrong. Write your local, state and national representatives. Write your local papers. They have already said they will not do the right thing because it is right. That leaves us with making them do the right thing by keeping the pressure on them, organizing protests, organizing boycotts and letting them, and the politicians know we are watching.