06.30.16

SCHUMER URGES FEDS TO REMOVE ROADBLOCKS AT LAKEVIEW AMPHITEATER CAUSING TRAFFIC BACK-UPS & DELAYS FOR TENS OF THOUNSANDS OF CENTRAL NEW YORKERS – SENATOR SAYS FHWA CAN HELP IMPROVE CONCERT TRAFFIC

New Lakeview Amphitheater In Syracuse Is Using the State Fair ‘Orange Lot’ For General Admission Parking But FHWA is Blocking Onondaga County from Using Entrances and Exits from the Lot that Could Improve Traffic Flow

 

Schumer Urges FHWA to Partner with Onondaga County and Remove Roadblocks Currently Causing Concert Traffic Nightmares – Says Solution is Already Developed for State Fair and Should be Used Here

 

Schumer: Feds Need to Breakdown Syracuse Concert Roadblock

U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today urged the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to work with Onondaga County to improve traffic flow in and out of the Orange Lot currently being utilized by the new Lakeview Amphitheater. Schumer explained that this new, $50 million venue is bringing tens of thousands of visitors to the region and is a boon to Onondaga Lake’s revitalization, but traffic conditions both before and after concerts are proving to be a headache for concert-goers and local residents. Schumer said this could be easily mitigated by allowing the County to utilize different access points along I-690, which would enable visitors using the “Orange Lot” – the general admission parking lot – to more easily enter and exit the venue. However, the FHWA has denied the County’s request to utilize these access points for the concerts. Schumer said FHWA should immediately work with the County a plan to open these access points and improve traffic flow, particularly given that the FHWA previously worked with the County and NY State to create these very same access points for high-volume traffic periods experienced during the New York State Fair. Schumer said the Lakeview Amphitheater should also have access these points, and urged the FHWA to break through its bureaucracy to make this a reality.

“FHWA must immediately work to break down their roadblocks that are causing a traffic nightmare for Central New York, and hurting what has otherwise been a very successful new concert venue in Onondaga County. The FHWA worked to create these very access points to ease traffic for tourists and local residents during the NY State Fair – which is why it makes no sense that they would deny the new Lakeview Amphitheater’s request to have concert-goers access these same points to enter and exit,” said U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer. “I’m urging the feds to stop stonewalling Onondaga County and work with the community to break through the red tape, so we can ease traffic congestion and improve the already wonderful experience at The Amp.”

Schumer said these points of access are critical now more than ever, as the new venue’s summer and fall concert series is in full swing. Schumer said it is unfair that the FHWA is currently preventing Onondaga County from using these critical access points along I-690 during concerts, as it worked to create these very same ingress and egress points to help ease the traffic visitors and local residents face when the NY State Fair comes to town. Schumer said the Lakeview Amphitheater is bringing thousands of visitors to Syracuse from outside Onondaga County and has the potential to bolster business revenue and local economic development opportunities. Therefore, Schumer is urging the FHWA to work closely and quickly with Onondaga County and the NY State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) to implement a plan that would safely utilize these access points so that further delays can be avoided as the summer concert season continues. Onondaga County has said it is willing to cover the cost of opening these two access points during major events at the Lakeview Amphitheater, but they require FHWA approval in order to do so. Schumer urged the FHWA to make this a reality without delay.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the FHWA appears below:

Dear Administrator Nadeau

 

I write to ask for your help in addressing a significant traffic issue currently plaguing Onondaga County and central New York. This year Onondaga County opened their new Lakeview Amphitheater and is now utilizing the venue for a number of concerts throughout the Summer and Fall. The Lakeview Amphitheater is an exciting new venue and it has tremendous potential to help attract additional visitors to the region. However, traffic patterns before and after concerts at the new venue are causing a number of issues for concert goers and local residents.

 

Specifically, the Lakeview Amphitheater is making use of the Orange Lot which is typically used for the New York State Fair. FHWA has worked with NYSDOT and Onondaga County to create a number of different access points along I-690 to help support access and egress from the Orange Lot during the high traffic volume periods of the New York State Fair. However, now FHWA is preventing Onondaga County from using those same access points for concerts at the new Lakeview Amphitheater – despite the fact that they are attracting thousands of visitors. I’d ask that you work with the County to safely open these access points during the no more than 20 major events held at the Amphitheater during the year to ensure the safest, and most efficient possible concert experience.

 

Onondaga County is willing to cover the cost of opening these access points during major events at the Lakeview Amphitheater but they require FHWA approval in order to do so. It’s clear that these two access points can be used safely given their continued usage, with FHWA approval, during the New York State Fair. FHWA’s help in allowing the County to utilize these two access points for concerts will not only improve traffic patterns and the concert experience for visitors attending shows at Lakeview, but will also allow the County to make better and more efficient use of the Orange Lot during major performances at Lakeview. I urge you to work closely and quickly with Onondaga County and New York State DOT to develop a plan to safely utilize these access points so that further delays can be avoided as the summer concert season continues.

 

I appreciate your consideration of this request, should you need further information please do not hesitate to contact my office.

 

Sincerely,


Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

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