Jesse Smith of the Kingston Times wrapped up a series of stories on planning in Kingston with a piece on the revitalization of the Rondout, which traces its roots to a planning document drafted in 1992.
Check out the story here.
Tags: city planning, kingston, rondout
Usually when people talk about the Rondout they are referring to the lower Broadway/Strand area. Smith’s article immediately grabbed my attention because he included Wilbur in that Rondout designation. I often refer to Wilbur as the “FORGOTTEN RONDOUT” or “THE INDUSTRIAL WASTE LAND OF THE ROUNDOUT.” I can because I live there and I am a witness to the effects of neglect and decay.
For years money and effort have been poured into the area around the Strand in an effort to bolster the neighborhood and to create a gentrified area. Oil tanks have been removed, junk yards have been closed or put on notice and historic buildings have been renovated and born again.
Meanwhile, just a mile down Abeel St., the FORGOTTEN RONDOUT is on the precipice of being – well, forgotten. There is the visually stunning and rusted train trestle. We have an ever expanding boatyard that obscures our natural view and senses as they pound mercilessly on steel, discharge foul diesel toxins into the air and sand blast lead particles into the creek. Just beyond the boatyard lies the last great junkyard of the Rondout still in operation today. Continue a little further to the west and wonder at the treacherous scars of the mining industry.
To include Wilbur in a comprehensive Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan is the first step to building a better future for the entire Rondout community. I suggest the following ideas:
• Create a bike path along Abeel St. to encourage and facilitate safe pedestrian travel.
• Design a spot to fish from the shore.
• Establish and mark points of historic interest along a kayaking self guided history paddle.
• Consider tax incentives to businesses which make investments in improvements that include surrounding community areas.
I look forward to witnessing and participating in the Rondout redevelopment process as it moves from theory to practice. Wilbur is a forgotten gem that is waiting to shine again.
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