On Jan. 6, 2015 Duncan Crary, writer-in-residence of The Enjoy Troy Co., presented a Citizen’s Proposal for an Enjoy Troy Business Route during an Enjoy Troy Day ceremony in Peck’s Arcade at 217 Broadway, in downtown Troy.
Definition: A business route is a short special route connected to a parent numbered highway at its beginning, then routed through the central business district of a nearby city or town, and finally reconnecting with the same parent numbered highway again at its end.The goal of the proposed Enjoy Troy Business Route is to offer an alternative for those traveling to Vermont and New England. The tentative route would take travelers from I-787 across the Green Island Bridge into downtown and then east on Route 2 through Brunswick to Route 278 to reconnect with Route 7.
While most Business Routes simply display the letter “B” on the route shield, The Enjoy Troy Co. has granted permission to use its proprietary symbol on any signs marking the route.
“‘enjoy troy.’ is the perfect message for a sign,” Crary said. “You can’t argue with it. ‘enjoy troy.’ Well, all right.”
BENEFITS TRAVELERS AND TROY, ALIKE
While the proposed Business Route is longer in distance, the travel time can often be quicker depending on traffic conditions on the Hoosick Street section of Rt. 7, Crary noted. It also features a more abrupt transition from urban to rural for those who are eager to hit the scenic countryside immediately outside Troy. But it also affords travelers a charming and safe small city environment to take a rest stop, stretch their legs, and have lunch at one of many popular restaurants — or pick up a last minute gift en route at one of many boutiques, galleries and shops.
“Loads of people travel through Troy on their way to Vermont and The Berkshires and only ever see Hoosick Street,” Crary said. “What they see there is no different than what you see on the outskirts of most cities. If we invite them to pass through our beautiful downtown, instead, I know they would feel more positively about our community. They would enjoy it.”
PROOF OF CONCEPTAs “proof of concept” Crary cites Patrick and Denise McAvey, a New Jersey couple who purchased a house in Troy after taking an unplanned detour off of Hoosick Street and falling love with the place.
The following was written Patrick McAvey for The Enjoy Troy Co.:
“One early Saturday morning about 10 years ago, Denise and I headed out on a trip from New Jersey to Vermont. It was a familiar ride that we had been taking for years. From 87 North and 787 we would take exit 9 E across the bridge to 7 E and then creep along Hoosick Street until the green country opened up again.
“However, this morning was different. When we crossed onto 7 E, cars were backed up by a traffic incident, and so we decided to exit onto 6th Avenue in Troy and perhaps find a way back going east. After all the years driving by it, we would finally see what the city was about.“We pulled into the parking lot of The Rensselaer Hotel on 6th Avenue (now a refurbished living space for RPI students) and walked up Broadway to Third Street where we turned right and then left on River Street. What struck us then was the fact that we were not just looking at isolated and individual historic houses, but rows and rows of them — streets full of them. And now River Street opened into the City’s Square — a grand room whose walls were lovely examples of 19th Century architecture. In the center stood a tall, elegant monument dedicated to the sacrifices made in history by local soldiers. In one corner, a white, angular, modern structure of crumbling concrete was, because of its setting, an iconic example of poor planning and bad taste.
“But there was so much to be awed by as we continued down River Street past the Rice Building into ‘the antique section’ with its strong and stately buildings forming a curve protecting the neighborhood from the winds off the Hudson. Then it was back to Monument Square where Devane Realty in the Cannon building had posted a list of jewels for sale.
“Sitting on a bench in Monument Square, Denise and I questioned why we had not gotten off the regular path to visit earlier. The answer we think lies with us and the City of Troy. While we were always focused on reaching our destination, the City never extended an invitation to travelers passing through. Had we ever seen a sign of one, we would have gladly accepted and gone to enjoy those hidden parts.”
LET’S DO THIS!
The Enjoy Troy Business Route was presented to the community as a citizen’s proposal. If it is to become a reality, it must have the backing of public officials, business owners and residents.
To discuss this proposal and ways you can help, contact Duncan Crary at 518-274-2723 or DCC@DuncanCrary.com