GEDDESBLOG: An "attractive" idea
11/29/2005 09:18:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
Here is a positive idea that took shape out of a tragedy.

In an attempt to boost its stalled economy, the hurricane-ravaged city of New Orleans is starting the nation's first free wireless Internet network owned and run by a major city.

Mayor Ray Nagin made the announcement at a late morning news conference.

Similar projects elsewhere have been stalled by stiff opposition from telephone and cable television companies aimed at discouraging competition from public agencies.

I believe that the same tactic could be used to attract new residents to an area that needs development and new life.

I continue to believe that this would be a great idea to attract people to live downtown in Syracuse and within the city limits. This story and the launching of this blog, made me remember that Solvay Electric was testing out broadband over power lines. Perhaps this could be a way to instantly give a boost to property values, and attract young residents and small business start ups to relocate into Solvay/Geddes.

(geddes power lines)

Imagine that in the future real estate listings:
2 bedroom apartment. Free broadband internet (over powerlines). Walkable neighborhood. $650.
1930's 2 story house, great starter home. Optional store front/office in first level. Off street parking. Free broadband internet for as long as you own your home. $90,000
It would certainly attract a different demographic of residents. Landlords would be more invested in their rental properties, as better apartments would attract more money. College students would find it a great place to live while they attended SU, Upstate, OCC, or LeMoyne. Business start ups could subtract hundreds of dollars from their expenses and would have incentive to locate in the Geddes area.

Higher home values, business receipts and workers living in the area would generate more tax revenue for the town. Everyone wins.

What do you think?
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On 9:42 PM , peaknik said...

My city tried to pass legislation allowing city broadband internet and it has failed twice now. They are going to try again at the first of the year.

I guess my grandpa said some of the amateur ham operators don't like it because it interferes with their transmissions or something. You might want to check into that if you get involved.

Other than that, I don't see much wrong with the idea. I bet it would definitely attract businesses.

Many of the people don't want the city to spend all this money on it because the town is struggling anyway. They don't see the point.

On 7:58 AM , LuceLu said...

I think it will gather more steam when pc's and laptops become as ubiquitous as television sets. Otherwise it will be seen as a benny for the middle to upper middle class and affluent. One can argue the benefit for local/region/state/fed agencies, schools, not for profits, and business and hope that would be enough to appeal to the majority population.

For Syracuse, I think they need to concentrate more on infrastructure projects like replacing and modernizing the water mains, rerouting Rt. 81, and shoring up their police force (we need more officers on the city streets).

Crime is a big deterrent to living in the city and is the main reason we left 6 years ago from the very area you talk about (West End--Herkimer St.). Even with free wireless, I wouldn't move back until the crime is cut back enough. Things have changed quite a bit from the city I grew up in (I lived in Strathmore for about 5 years as a kid, later Eastwood for 2 years in H.S.--had lots of friends on the Northside which has deteriorated dramatically, and in Bellevue area for 4 years as a young adult. Later we lived on the West End for about 4 years when my son was about 2 through kindergarden.)

We are in the suburbs now (Liverpool) and while I prefer a more "walkable village" environment, I would't go back to the city sidewalks-being unable to walk to the store by myself at night because of the crime or worrying about my son riding his bike around the corner cuz he might get bullied and robbed at knife or gunpoint.

Westvale and Solvay are probably a bit better crime wise and I would vote Solvay first because they have a local energy supplier. We looked there when we were buying and frankly, there are too many rentals (transient inhabitants) and the prices of homes that fit our criteria (driveway, garage, 3 bedrooms, yard, decent appearance) did not reflect this drawback.

I realize I sound really negative but I am just being honest and realistic.

On 8:26 AM , baloghblog said...

No I agree with you whole-heartedly that crime and safety are the number one issue facing our city.

It is all a vicious circle though.

There is little opportunity for work within an area, so the population remains poor, which means that there is less revenue in tax dollars to the city, meaning less money to be spend improving development and protection of city residents.

There need to be "pioneers" that have reason to re-inhabit an area deemed "undesirable" by some. We need local companies to move back into the city, instead of inhabiting steel framed "work barns" in the distant suburbs. We need small businesses to provide jobs and services to the area. This was just a (albeit) small way I believe to attract some of those people.

The local governments need to realize that the safety of its citizens is number one. Crime is a huge deterrent from people moving into an area.

We need to increase both the carrot (incentives) and stick (policing) in an area for it to grow strong again.

On 7:20 AM , LuceLu said...

I understand what you are saying here but I dismiss that poor = criminal. I think that is a cop-out, a lazy excuse for why the criminal are not controlled and neighborhoods kept safe.

When I was growing up in the city, we had nothing except the house we lived in and even the bank owned most of that. My mother had to put us kids on welfare because my dad decided to take a responsibility vacation and not send child support. My step-dad's kids all came to live with us because his exwife decided to take a vodka vacation. We ate spaghetti three times a week. None of us thought it necessary to join a gang, shoplift, mug anyone nor behave in a menacing manner on streetcorners.

My parents worked two jobs, mostly were compensated for one (they were real estate agents in the mid 1970's). Gas was expensive, Carter was president. We went to city schools.

And no, we did not go to church regularly, my mom and step-dad were "living in sin."

When Mom sold the house, the Dept. of Social Services got their cut and the Judge chose not to compel my father to compensate my mother.

Of course, there was no cable at the time, no computers nor internet and no cell phones. We had electricity, a refrigerator and an operating rotary phone. My parents drove old cars. As kids we really weren't aware we were poor, just that we grew to fast for our clothes. We watched Adam 12, the 6 Million Dollar Man, and Monster Movie Matinee. Life just was.

On 7:36 AM , baloghblog said...

"so the population remains poor, which means that there is less revenue in tax dollars to the city, meaning less money to be spend improving development and protection of city residents"

I am not equating poor with crime, I am equating decreased tax revenue with decreased ability to provide city services like policing and reinvestment in the community.

If there is increased home ownership in an area, home values rise, and therefore tax revenues rise. Incentives to encourage home ownership and increased protection of citizens would improve living conditions for all citizens in an area.