As part of the stewardship of the corridor of our Mohawk Towpath Byway we need to continually update the Scenic Conservation Action Plan that we adopted several years ago. This is a living document that guides our vision of what we want the Byway to look like for future generations. As we see changes happening along the corridor we need to gain a broad public understanding of what we want our communities, our Byway to look like as we hand stewardship off to the next generation.
We are building on accomplishment by our member municipalities including riverfront studies, open space studies, rezoning, refining Master Plans, new proposed projects, and – in some cases – all of the above. Two projects currently proposed will have a profound impact on the Byway: the proposed redevelopment of the historic American Locomotive manufacturing (ALCO) site in Schenectady and the proposed expansion of the Colonie Landfill.
Less than a century ago Schenectady was known as the city that lit and moved the world with General Electric at one end of the city and ALCO at the other. Steam locomotives of all sizes and shapes came from Schenectady and as Diesel electric locomotives slowly replaced steam, ALCO lead the way.
Currently the historic site is being repurposed by the Galesi Group as they transform this area to a tourist destination. The process started with a “brownfield” project to remove historic contamination from over a century of heavy manufacturing.
A harbor was constructed off the Mohawk River and Erie Canal. A bike and pedestrian path is funded, a Marriott Hotel is under construction, a major gambling casino is proposed along with residential, commercial and retail space.
Plans are to have David Buicko, one of the principals of the Galesi Group, as a guest speaker at the next meeting of the Mohawk Towpath Towpath Scenic Byway Coalition. Be there January 21 in Clifton Park.
Another proposal is to expand the Colonie Landfill footprint further north with operations adjacent to the Cohoes Crescent Road segment of the Byway. Historic photographs show this area in a pastural setting, not that much different than one would see with a well maintained landfill cap.
The proposal would extend the life of the landfill another 20 years and create a mountain up to an elevation of over 500 feet dominating the Cohoes Crescent Road (at elevation of about 190 feet) with a landscape compared to that of local ski slopes. Public meetings on the proposal will be required before New York State finalizes a landfill permit.
An important part of either of these projects is to gain community input.
Your opinions and perspectives are important to the Mohawk Towpath Byway, to those who are making decisions about changes within our communities, and to those who will be inheriting our stewardship. Make sure your voice is heard.