FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: December 12, 2011
SCHUMER HELPS SECURE $10 MILLION FEDERAL INVESTMENT TO LINK SYRACUSE UNIVERSITY WITH DOWNTOWN - INTERSTATE 81 CURRENTLY DIVIDES THE TWO, BUT CONNECTIVE CORRIDOR PLAN WILL ALLOW EASIER BIKE & PEDESTRIAN TRAFFIC
Syracuse Connective Corridor Plan Will Connect University Hill & Downtown Syracuse With a Pedestrian and Cyclist-Friendly Streetscape – Funds Today Come In Addition to $2Million Schumer Has Already Secured For Project
In A Personal Call and Letter to Secretary LaHood, Schumer Pushed DOT To Provide $10 Million To Match $3 Million In Local Funding To Create Bike Lanes, New Sidewalks & Improve Traffic Flow
Schumer: This Investment Will Get More Students Off The Hill, Be A Boon For All Of Syracuse
Today, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced that he has helped secure a $10 million federal investment to help connect Syracuse’s University Hill and downtown Syracuse with a series of bike lanes and infrastructure improvements that will make travel between the two more pedestrian friendly. In 2006, Schumer secured $2 million in federal funding for Syracuse Connective Corridor. Currently, Interstate 81 serves as a physical barrier between the two, but the city’s planned improvements will help connect the two by creating new bike lanes and installing new sidewalks, benches, energy efficiently lighting and limiting the distances pedestrians must cross between streets. The Connective Corridor project will also create dedicated turn lanes to improve the flow of vehicular traffic.
“Thanks to this federal investment, the Connective Corridor will finally create a much needed link between downtown Syracuse and University Hill,” said Schumer. “I went to bat for Syracuse with the Secretary because this job-creating project is exactly what Syracuse needs – I’m thrilled they’ve heeded our call. We’re finally going to link these two parts of the city with a new network of bike lanes and sidewalks and make significant improvements to traffic flow so that people, goods, and services can flow throughout Syracuse. This plan is a clear winner for Syracuse and will help create hundreds of good-paying construction jobs at a time when we need them the most.”
Today’s federal investment will fund phases II and III of the Syracuse Connective Corridor Plan, connecting University Hill and Downtown with a distinct, pedestrian and cyclist friendly streetscape. The Hill and Downtown are home to several key economic engines that serve the citizens of the greater Syracuse region. These areas host over 47,000 jobs and 5 of the 10 largest employers in Central New York including Upstate Medical, SU, ESF, Crouse, National Grid, and the VA Medical Center.
While Interstate Route 81 is a barrier to the physical convergence of the University Hill and Downtown areas, the construction of the Connective Corridor project will significantly improve safety, increase transportation choices and enhance the physical link between Downtown and University Hill areas, while generating positive economic, social, and environmental outcomes for the region.
These enhancements will be provided by installing dedicated bike lanes, which will also link to a larger, city wide network of bike lane and establishing dedicated turn lanes. Additionally the construction of new sidewalks and benches, installation of energy efficient LED lighting, reductions to pedestrian crossing distances, and installing of new pedestrian count-down timers and durable crosswalks will significantly improve pedestrian safety in Phases II & III.
Schumer, who personally called Secretary LaHood to advocate for the funding, also sent the letter below to the Department of Transportation:
The Honorable Ray LaHood
US Department of Transportation
400 7th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20590
I am pleased to write in support of the City of Syracuse’s application for the third round of funding under the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery Program (TIGER III). The City’s proposed Connective Corridor Project, would be a multimodal transportation and streetscape project that would create a link between the University Hill area and Downtown Syracuse by building a vibrant streetscape with distinctive improvements within the City’s right of way.
The Connective Corridor plays a critical role in developing two burgeoning areas of economic and cultural growth. Syracuse’s University Hill and Downtown are home to five of the ten largest employers in Central New York— the region’s most important economic, cultural, medical and educational institutions including Syracuse University, SUNY Upstate Medical University and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry; four major hospitals serving the entire Central New York Region, over 25 cultural venues and five hotels, the region’s largest convention and entertainment complex, and the City’s central business district.
The Syracuse Connective Corridor would provide cost-effective improvements that would improve transportation infrastructure and construct new multimodal facilities for bicycles, pedestrians and transit services, in comprehensive a manner. This project would also provide creative design solutions that improve operational and safety deficiencies by defining a visible link between these two regionally important economic area as well as a cost-effective, sustainable improvements connecting the Downtown and University Hill areas of the City.
Investing in our nation's infrastructure is now more important than ever, and the City of Syracuse’s Connective Corridor Project embodies the job creation and economic development spirit of TIGER III. Thank you for your consideration of the City of Syracuse’s project application. If you have any further questions or need additional information, please contact Eric Morrissette in my Washington, DC office at 202-224-6542.
Charles E. Schumer