April 18, 2011

Absentee landlords and road widening

Tompkins Weekly's previous issue (4.8MB PDF) had a couple of articles on happenings outside of Dryden that seemed relevant here.

There was a piece on Jacksonville, a hamlet in Ulysses that seems to be suffering a plague much like the one Varna has dealt with for decades:

Many in the audience expressed a fear that Jacksonville has several older homes that are prime targets for absentee landlords. These landlords often purchase single-family homes, obtain zoning variances to turn them into multi-family dwellings and then neglect to maintain the properties or adequately or manage their tenants, residents said.

I wish them luck - that cycle of decay makes it very difficult even to maintain a neighborhood's respect even among residents of the same town. Pushing back against landlords whose primary interest is extracting cash without much interest in their properties is a difficult challenge.

If you've driven along Hanshaw Road into the Town of Ithaca recently, you may be wondering what the "We Like to Walk" and ""Say No to Eminent Domain". Page 7 of the same issue looks at different takes in the neighborhood regarding the County's plans to expand the road and add sidewalks. I found the next-to-last paragraph depressing:

Lampman agrees that speeds may increase once the pavement is replaced, but he says the county is initiating plans to enforce speed limits on Hanshaw and other roads where speeding is an issue. The county intends to preserve or replace landscaping to maintain the existing perception of road width, he adds. Crosswalks will be added at intersections west of Warren Road.

I look at the County's ever-shrinking budget, and I wonder how anyone can promise that there will be enforcement to prevent speeding that's built into the design of the road. Some enforcement? Probably. Enough enforcement to make drivers consistently drive at the posted speed instead of the design speed? Hard to imagine.

Posted by simon at April 18, 2011 10:24 PM in , , ,
Note on photos