By Devin Martin
A new infrastructure initiative called the Park Street Neighborhood Greenway project will begin in the spring of 2017, in an effort to refurbish, revamp, and improve 2.2 miles of the Park Street Corridor on the north side of Syracuse.
The city is working in conjunction with the Federal Highway Administration, and the New York State Department of Transportation to fund half a million dollars for the project, in order to repair crosswalk striping and curb ramps at all intersections, install shared use bike lanes, and improve sidewalks and signage during the project.
Representatives from the city of Syracuse, and Barton & Loguidice Engineering Consulting Firm, held a joint general information meeting on July 13 which was open to the public.
The city has hired Barton & Loguidice to manage the early stages of the project.
According to city engineer Alvin Chan, the main goals of the project are to improve the safety of pedestrians who walk along the Park Street Corridor on a daily basis, and to help make better connections for bicycle routes and pedestrian routes to the Regional Transportation Center, and the Regional Market.
“We know that pedestrians and cyclists are primary transportation for a lot of people through this park, so we’re trying to improve the safety of the street for those people,” Chan stated.
In addition, Barton & Loguidice managing engineer Mark Budosh said the project would consist of “making it easier for the handicapped to cross and use the street.”
There are sections of the crosswalks that have eroded, or been uprooted and not maintained well, and they will be replaced and updated to make sure that it’s safe for everyone,” Budosh stated.
Residents of the neighborhood said their main concern was that the Park Street Corridor can be a dangerous avenue of transportation for pedestrians who are either walking or riding bikes, because of how old and damaged some of the sidewalks are.
“On behalf of the community of the north side, I think that this initiative can be good, but it has to fix the corridor because people basically have to walk on the street in order to get to the regional market, or transportation center,” one neighborhood resident stated. “That’s how bad the sidewalks that are even still existing there actually are.”