Each week, I will break down parts of the AIACNY Urban Design Study of the 1-81 Project. Here is an opportunity for you to see, in a clear and concise fashion, how the decision that lies ahead could change the city for better or for worse.
The “main streets” of Syracuse that connect major commercial centers with popular local neighborhoods are now essentially disjointed. If I-81 is broken down into a new street, these streets will finally be more easily connected.
Click to enlarge.
As noted by the red line below, the highway currently blocks the West main streets from the East main streets in Syracuse. The new boulevard could not only become a connecting point for these streets, but will also serve as a main street itself, bringing a potential new district to Syracuse’s already distinct sectional city layout.
As discussed in my last post, the street would be composed of new major intersections for people traveling across the city going downtown or to the suburbs in all directions. It will improve traffic flow and make for easier connections on your daily commute.
Driving isn’t the only mode of transportation made more efficient by this alternative. New bike lanes and walkways along this route will serve people who want to get to these main street destinations quickly and safely.
I live right by the highway and can hear the cars zoom past my window as I fall asleep each night. Though I can easily turn right out of my apartment building and head up University Hill, I can’t simply turn left underneath the viaduct and merge into traffic on Almond Avenue. After all, there really aren’t any sidewalks for me to casually commute on. This new boulevard would become my new main street.
I don’t know where you leave in Syracuse, but chances are you use one or more of these main street connections in your daily life. Now you see how this new street could more successfully connect you with other major destinations.
I, for one, would love to see the area outside my window turn into a bustling boulevard full of people and opportunities for growth and connection. How nice would it be to take a leisurely stroll towards downtown via the walkway or a family bike ride to Onondaga Lake without worrying about the major imposition of the highway?