A greenway for the Westside

Soon, the Eastside, Southside, and Northside will all have access to a cross-county network of greenways running through two of the three big valleys that intersect at Downtown Syracuse. That third valley—stretching from the City Center to Split Rock through Syracuse’s Westside—should have it’s own greenway too.

Existing network in dark green, proposed Westside Greenway in light green

Abandoned train bridges, a channelized creek, and public parks all link up to provide a largely level and car-free route through the City’s Westside. Beginning at Fay Road on the northern edge of the Geddes athletic fields, the greenway would run east past Bishop Ludden, the Centers at St. Camillus, and Westhill High School. It would follow Harbor Brook along the north side of Grand Avenue to the back entrance to Western Lights Plaza. There it would cross Grand to continue following Harbor Brook across Velasko Road, past Providence House and the Harbor Brook Wetlands Project, and into the City.

Harbor Brook as it enters Skunk City from the west

The greenway would cut through Skunk City to Grand Avenue, run along the edge of Burnet Park, and link back up with Harbor Brook where it crosses under Grand between Lydell and Herriman Streets. It would follow the brook and Amy Street to Seymour Street and then run across Fowler’s campus all the way to Fayette Street. It would cross Fayette on the existing abandoned train bridges, follow the County-owned abandoned railroad property to Geddes Street, cross that dangerous road on another abandoned train bridge, and then run along the north side of Fayette through Lipe Art Park.

A signalized crosswalk at Oswego Street—like the one on West Street at Otisco—would allow people to access the greenway from the Near Westside. The path would cross Fayette and West Streets with the existing rail viaduct and then come back down to street level on the existing rail siding that leads down into the parking lot behind the MOST. There, the greenway would link up with the Creekwalk and the rest of the metro area’s regional biking/walking network.

This greenway would connect major job centers, populous neighborhoods, three high schools, and three public parks. It would be almost entirely free from cars and almost perfectly level along its entire route. It would pass through one of the region’s most dynamic and least celebrated landscapes. It would be a very good addition to both Syracuse’s park system and its transportation network.