Neighbors offer advice to rebuild Broad

Devising a plan to rebuild Broad Ave. isn't a new concept, but the way the city is approaching it is new.

"Usually when we do a comprehensive plan the public agencies do the plan and then we come back and present it to the neighborhood and the neighborhood tells us what they don't like," said Louise Mercuro, of the Office of Planning and Development.

But on Saturday residents and business owners were asked to design their own vision for their community. That community has been on a steady downward spiral during the last decade.

"Too many times we see the bureaucrats away from the problem and they're suggesting things that are not really relevant," said resident David Robertson. "We have a hands on feel of what's really needed here."

With a level of interest this high, it was hard to tell the experts from the residents.

The Binghampton neighborhood was already struggling when they began to fight the extension of Sam Cooper Boulevard.

"A lot of folks have lived here a long time," said Carol Chumney, a city council member. "They care about this neighborhood. They know the neighborhood."

Even though the battle to block the road was lost, the fight to bring back Broad never ended.

"The hope is, that because they have involved the community this time, is that it will be different and that things will actually happen after the planning session," said resident Anna Karnas.

Residents interested in rebuilding are eager to let city leaders know what that will take.