A heart attack in Eastwood

The most popular Walkable Eastwood blog post is turning out to be this one – “You haven’t lived in Eastwood if you…”

The comments from people who remember growing up in Eastwood are so touching and often so funny. I’m asking myself – what was it about that Eastwood that people here remember, long for, try to recapture, and actually are still living?  What is the heart of Eastwood and how do we keep it beating?

Eastwood is not lacking for good, civic-minded people. There’s a lot going on in various groups and we see the results of their efforts all the time. But I still wish there was more of whatever that is, a feeling of connection to one’s neighbors. You have to bump into them – physically be near them, happen upon them in public and semi-public spaces like the sidewalk and the cafe, the neighborhood store or diner.

Every time we allow designers of our public spaces to give more importance and resources to the needs of people sitting in cars, we take away the opportunity to bump into each other in spaces that are scaled to humans and friendly to the human body. Crossing a drive-in/drive-out sea of asphalt is dangerous and humans walking avoid it when possible. This is why James Street is still so devoid of the people who should be meeting each other, even if only in passing.

It takes an effort of will to keep James Street from sliding further into the 20th-century automobile-centric mold of street design. It takes live humans in front of live humans, expressing their desire for a place where the heart of Eastwood can beat in safety and comfort. If you can take the time on Monday, April 2, to go to the planning commission meeting and express your opposition to yet another auto-centric business design (and uphold the existing design guidelines in the process) then please do so.

It really is up to you. The person reading these words.

The City of Syracuse has done a fantastic job of making its workings more transparent. You can now easily find all the information needed to help the commissioners make good decisions by going to this web page: http://www.syracuse.ny.us/Planning_Commission.aspx
Click on the number of the issue you’re concerned about and you’ll find the application with drawings, images, the works.  The one we’re concerned about clearly details what exceptions to the overlay district guidelines they’re looking for.

Remember: every exception approved is legal precedent for ANY future development. You let it in once and everyone will get to do it. Whatever is allowed here could be allowed throughout our business district, the heart of Eastwood.

Let’s prevent this heart attack.

3) CLICK HERE–>SP-12-02 (Continuation of 3/12/12 Public Hearing) LH,SK,RC,GM,RL
Special Permit–Restaurant
2649 and 2659-67 James Street
Cleardogg, Inc (owner/applicant)
Business, Class A

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