• 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
  • Stuck at the Airport - On November 1, elected officials descended on Hancock Airport to announce the end of its 2-year $62.4 million renovation. They gave out quotes about how the bigger terminal and updated exterior would bring “economic growth” and “bolster tourism.” They talked about how airports are “gateways” and “the first impression that many visitors have of our … Continue reading Stuck at the Airport
  • Centro at the Fair - 1,279,010 people attended the 2018 New York State Fair. That’s a new record, and all those people trying to get to the same place made for some pretty bad traffic. 690 backed up for miles, and more than once the Fair ran completely out of parking spaces. Onondaga County Executive Joanie Mahoney told people to … Continue reading Centro at the Fair
  • Riders Call for More Buses on the Streets - During the Spring of 2017, Centro asked its riders about how the bus fits into their lives. SMTC published the results of that survey in June. There’s a lot of good stuff in the final report, but the overriding finding is that there’s major support for putting more buses on the streets at all hours … Continue reading Riders Call for More Buses on the Streets
  • Who’s the parking for? - Syracuse’s draft zoning ordinance requires properties used for different kinds of things to have different numbers of parking spaces. 1-family houses must have 1 parking space, grocery stores must have 1 parking space for every 300 square feet of floor space, golf courses must have 2 parking spaces for every hole, and so on. The … Continue reading Who’s the parking for?