• Bike Lanes in Winter - A lot of people are concerned that Syracuse is wasting its time making the streets safe for bikes. ‘It snows here,’ they say, ‘three months of the year no one’s going to be on a bike.’ This do-nothing stance treats bikes as recreation, and it treats all the people who ride them as fitness buffs. … Continue reading Bike Lanes in Winter
  • The Promise of the 20-Minute City - Ask some people, and they’ll tell you that the best thing about Syracuse is that it’s a ‘20-Minute City.’ They mean that you can get between any two points in Onondaga County—from Fayetteville to Fairmount, from Liverpool to Lafayette—in 20 minutes or less. This was part of Syracuse’s pitch to get Amazon’s HQ2, it’s part … Continue reading The Promise of the 20-Minute City
  • Centro at the Fair: 2019 - Public transportation allows a lot of people to all get together in one place at one time. That’s a good thing, like when Centro carried a quarter of this year’s record breaking crowd to the New York State Fair. It can also be a good thing in Syracuse every day by getting enough people together … Continue reading Centro at the Fair: 2019
  • OnTrack’s Shadow - Sometimes it feels like this City can’t get past OnTrack. When Centro is working to run better bus service, people just say ‘bring back OnTrack.’ When I81 is making Syracuse totally rethink what kind of city it wants to be and what that means for public transportation, people just say ‘bring back OnTrack.’ That rail … Continue reading OnTrack’s Shadow
  • Buses Without Traffic - You’re riding the bus when a mother with her two kids rings the bell. The bus pulls over, they get off, and the operator waits for a few cars to pass before he can get back into the travel lane. During those few seconds the light turns yellow and then red. The bus rolls up … Continue reading Buses Without Traffic
  • How to Get More Bike Lanes - City Hall is trying to make it easier for more people to get around by bike. Great. Now only if they’d make it safer for more people bike in the City too. There is very little dedicated space to bike on Syracuse’s streets. What space has been carved out—a protected track on part of University … Continue reading How to Get More Bike Lanes
  • Sync Makes Biking More Possible for More People - Sync—the new bikeshare network that launches on Tuesday—tackles three barriers to biking in Syracuse. First, Sync makes biking cheaper. Bikes are one of the least expensive ways to get around, but, between the upfront cost and maintenance costs, it’s easy to sink $100 into even a cheap used bike. If that bike gets stolen or … Continue reading Sync Makes Biking More Possible for More People
  • The Emerging Pro-Transit Coalition - In Syracuse, local politicians are doing all they can to expand economic opportunity. At the same time, politicians in the State government are working to eliminate New York’s carbon footprint by 2050. These two groups of politicians—along with the activists and organizations that support them—should partner to advocate for better public transportation in Syracuse. A … Continue reading The Emerging Pro-Transit Coalition
  • More Buses or More Routes - In Syracuse, people ride the bus to get all over the City for all kinds of reasons. Centro needs to run a service that fits their needs by connecting the entire City. One way to do that would be to run more buses between different neighborhoods, even if that meant running new lines that avoid … Continue reading More Buses or More Routes
  • Buses That Don’t Go Downtown - In Syracuse, most major streets lead Downtown. Salina, James, Burnet, Erie, Genesee, Fayette, Onondaga—all of them are good for getting into and out of the city center. Most other major streets at least point towards Downtown, even if they don’t reach it. Midland, South Ave, Wolf, Court, and Butternut all end in neighborhoods outside of … Continue reading Buses That Don’t Go Downtown
  • Centro and I81 - At the March 22 hearing on public transportation in Syracuse, State officials asked Centro CEO Rick Lee why more people don’t ride the bus. Lee responded that Syracuse is a 20-minute city—overbuilt car-infrastructure and a spread-out population mean that there’s very little traffic, so people who can afford to own a car choose to drive. … Continue reading Centro and I81
  • Moving Forward After the Viaduct - On April 22, NYSDOT (finally) released its plans for the I81 viaduct in Downtown Syracuse. The highway’s coming down, and it’s staying down. This is good news for the City, but it’s not the end of the process. NYSDOT still has to finalize its designs, hire contractors, and actually do the work. Syracuse needs to … Continue reading Moving Forward After the Viaduct
  • What the Mall Does for the City - This week, the Post-Standard reported that Destiny USA may default on its mortgage. The mall was the defining issue of the 2000s—like I-81 is of the 2010s—and a lot of people are still bitter that Syracuse gave away so much public money in exchange for ridiculous and ultimately unfulfilled promises (an aquarium, an imitation Erie … Continue reading What the Mall Does for the City
  • Ending the Spatial Mismatch in Syracuse - Syracuse needs better bus service that empowers all kinds of people to meet all their different daily needs. One of those daily needs is getting to work. In a recent hearing on the effectiveness of public transportation in Syracuse, Assemblymember Pam Hunter addressed that directly when she asked about how Centro could overcome the spatial mismatch—the … Continue reading Ending the Spatial Mismatch in Syracuse
  • What Are Buses For? - During a March 22 hearing on public transportation in Syracuse, local legislators asked over and over again why Centro isn’t doing more to get people to work. Assemblymember Pam Hunter asked how more frequent service would help her constituents if it didn’t give them access to jobs in the suburbs, State Senator Rachel May asked … Continue reading What Are Buses For?
  • Bus Rapid Transit for the Eastside - ReZone—City Hall’s complete rewrite of its zoning ordinance—assumes that Centro will run some kind of Bus Rapid Transit service in the future. The current draft ordinance includes special zoning around public “transportation terminals,” and the project’s guiding document refers to a “TOD overlay” within .25 miles of BRT stations. SMTC and Centro have planned two … Continue reading Bus Rapid Transit for the Eastside
  • Smart City, SMART Buses - City Hall plans to buy all of Syracuse’s streetlights. That will save about $2 million every year, so it’s a no-brainer for a city government staring down bankruptcy. But City Hall will get more than just savings—it will also get control of a network of electrical outlets and poles that stretches across the entire City. … Continue reading Smart City, SMART Buses
  • Writing ReZone for Better Bus Service - Buses work best where there are lots of people, businesses, and institutions all within walking distance of each other. Zoning laws that allow a mix of people, businesses, and institutions work best in places with good bus service. Transportation planning and land use planning go hand in hand. In Syracuse, the left hand doesn’t seem … Continue reading Writing ReZone for Better Bus Service
  • New York State Needs to Stand Up for Public Transportation - Since Democrats took full control of the state government in Albany on January 9, they have been working overtime, already passing the Reproductive Health Act, GENDA, and voting reform. All of these major pieces of progressive legislation are necessary to push back against the regressive policies coming out of the federal government. They’re part of … Continue reading New York State Needs to Stand Up for Public Transportation
  • A Parkway not a Freeway - Last week another truck crashed into the train bridge over Onondaga Lake Parkway. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. No matter how many flashing warning signs they put up about that being a low bridge, drivers keep using that road, and all those crashes are symptoms of a bigger problem: … Continue reading A Parkway not a Freeway