The northeastern perimeter of Syracuse University’s Hill is set to experience some positive changes in the near future for those traveling by bike and by car. On both Waverly Avenue and Comstock Avenue, plans are currently being implemented to solve parking issues and promote walkability and easy biking through repainted designation lines on the wide streets.
New Campus Parking Options
According to a press release from the Syracuse City Mayor’s office, a floating parking lane along Comstock Avenue will result in an additional 60-70 parking spaces on campus. The street and meter parking situation is notoriously difficult to navigate on campus, despite clear signage and meters. Part of the problem results from the competition for parking spots in general, while part is due to the timed parking limits and need to feed the meter within the given time frame.
The city has begun implementing the Whoosh! system in other areas of Syracuse, most heavily in and around Armory Square. The system has not yet reached the university Hill area, leaving the meter-parking struggle yet unresolved.
Growth of Campus Area Bike Path Network
As a step toward a non-car alternative, a two-direction cycling track, much like the one on University Avenue, will increase the safety and ease of bike transportation. This bike path is just one of many projects planned to increase the “bikability” of the Syracuse University area as well as surrounding off-campus housing. In particular, the University Hill Bike Network Project will add to the growing network of bike lanes on and around the University Hill neighborhood, with the definitive goal of increasing bike safety and usability, as well as promoting the use of bikes as a method of transportation from the nearby off-campus housing, rather than commuting via car.
Bike Commutes To Reduce Student Car Congestion
The overall bike network goal has the potential to decrease the amount of competition for parking spots and overall number of vehicles travelling on the Hill. Despite the number of lots and garages on and around the SU campus, many students living in off-campus areas still experience the daily challenge of finding a parking spot. The result of this influx of daily student cars is competition for anyone looking to visit businesses in the area, especially around the Marshall Street restaurants and shops.
A structured network of bike lanes will promote alternate methods of traveling to and from campus and the amenities of the University Hill area. However, the harsh Syracuse winters may deter even the most determined commuters from using the upgraded pathways.
Part of a Larger Solution
This bike plan is only a piece of a larger, more comprehensive multi-transit goal. Traveling via one solitary method of transportation is hardly an option in Syracuse, where weather, hills and general population density are all factors largely at play.
The larger goal in mind for pedestrian transportation is that members of the community will begin to utilize the many different options available to them, notwithstanding weather or region of the city. Busses, cars, bikes and walking are all viable options when used in tandem.
Increased parking in the University Hill area is something to celebrate, but a network of bike lanes, the Connective Corridor and other transportation options are also worth cheering.