Monday, April 24, 2006

South Avenue Garage Collapse Conspiracy Theory

If there's one thing everyone should know about we liberals, we love our conspiracy theories. Some could say it's paranoia, but we call it reasonable doubt. By now you've all heard about or driven by the collapsed helix ramp of the South Avenue parking garage downtown. What you might not realize is that we liberals are hard at work on a conspriracy theory behind it.

Having been built in 1974 and not maintained much at all during that time, it's logical to assume that this incident is attributable to long-term neglect. I disagree. You see, the garage has been under intense renovation for many months now. The company in charge of the work, Crane-Hogan Structural Systems, is based in Spencerport and has done similar large-scale work all over the region. You would think that, given their experience, they could have detected that something was wrong and tried to prevent it. They didn't and I think I know why.

Parking supply is the lifeblood of any mid-sized urban downtown. Most everyone who works downtown drives to their job and many thousands of them rely on the numerous City-owned garages to safely store their vehicle. When an incident like this takes place, it likely drains the confidence of those workers in the safety of their vehicles or themselves. Downtown already has a hard enough time competing with suburban office parks, this is another potential boulder in the path of revitalization. Is it possible that the suburban political leadership recognizes this and sees the failure of downtown as a benefit to their own tax bases? Is it possible that they convinced Crane-Hogan President, and active County Republican, Daniel Hogan to sabotage this project as a way to invigorate the stagnant suburban office market?

I highly doubt it, but as a good liberal, I must contribute to our love of conspiracy theories. Pictures from Saturday morning to follow.