Friday, September 05, 2014

Great Ideas in Syracuse . . .

Regarding the I-81 remake, Mayor Miner in Syracuse says that neighborhoods and economic vitality are more important than commute times.

A group of architects there are proposing a revitalized street grid as the means of moving heavy traffic through Syracuse.

It's too bad that we did not have such leadership and creative thinking in Utica a few years ago when the North-South Arterial remake was planned.  The West Utica Wall is now rising . . . leaving it to the 22nd Century and a future generation to correct the mistake.

But all is not gloom in Utica. . . . The State is catching on that maybe a better street grid is the way to go and has implemented some notable projects.

  • The Oneida Square Roundabout has increased connectivity among the feeding streets, shortened commute time through the intersection, and made Park Ave.-Oneida St. an alternate to Genesee.
  • The new Lincoln Ave. - Burrstone Rd. intersection allows Lincoln Ave to function as an alternate to Genesee St. or the Arterial and has eased access to the south end of Lincoln Ave.
  • The new Champlin Ave. - Oriskany Blvd. intersection allows Champlin Ave. to function as an alternate to the Arterial.
  • And from the construction it looks like we are getting a new Cornelia St. - Oriskany Blvd. intersection at the Aud which will increase access to all that developable land  behind the Aud!

Parallel through streets can substitute for add lanes to an expressway when heavy traffic needs to be moved. . . . but offer the advantages of (1) increasing access to developable parcels of land  and (2) provide alternate routes when the unforseen traffic jam happens.

City leaders now need to catch on to the advantages of improving the street grid and look for opportunities to do so.

Making Utica easier to navigate will not only make it more pleasant to be here, but will lead to increased economic vitality in the city.                                                                                                                                                                                  


Keith said...

That is a problem I noticed when I moved from the Midwest to Utica. Often there are no viable alternate routes if a road is blocked or under construction. My first night in Utica, the airline had lost my luggage. I was at a downtown hotel. I needed a clean shirt for my interview the next morning.

I checked the yellow pages, found a Sears at Sangertown. There was some project messing up the arterial. I checked a map and Genesee looked like a straight shot. Big mistake.

Right now most East/West routes across Utica have construction slowing them. I haven't found a really good route from MVCC to Consumer Square.

The changes you pointed out will improve flow north/South but as you have pointed out previously the project will disrupt several East/West routes.

Anonymous said...

Yes, let's worry about street grids while thousands of potholes are ignored.
Way to go Strike!