Syracuse (WSYR-TV) -- It’s likely the biggest public infrastructure project in Syracuse in more than 30 years. Phase one of the Connective Corridor project is just about finished.
The project has turned University Avenue from a one-way to a two-way street and added bike lanes, which continue on to a newly designed East Genesee Street.
The streetscape has improved tremendously, but this is much more than a beautification project.
“Aesthetically, everything looks different, but it’s nicer just to see the streets seem to be coming alive,” said Phoebe’s Restaurant employee Debbi Heller.
Even beyond the economic development aspect is another piece of the project, underneath is an ambitious green infrastructure network.
“It’s really a showcase for other communities to look at how you can use green technology in big transportation networks like this, so exciting for Syracuse,” said Connective Corridor Project Manager Linda Hartsock.
Bike lanes are a big part of the project. Green paint marks the lanes and is made of a special resin. It’s only the second place in the country to put it down and it will withstand the weather and even plowing.
“We’re hoping next year to work with the county and some local businesses to develop a bike share program, hopefully role out a fleet of red bikes across the city and get people to use it,” Hartsock continued.
Hartsock says the whole concept of the project is to create a 21st century Main Street for Syracuse.
"Connecting the entire University Hill region, not just SU but the other colleges, universities, medical centers that are on the Hill with downtown business districts and again, creating enhancements that the community can be proud of,” Hartsock said.
Hartsock says the goal is to get the public development to spur private development along the corridor. As for the bike share, details are still being worked out, but they hope to have it in place by the spring.
The project will run for two more years, continuing from where it’s left off at Forman Park, continuing down East Genesee to Fayette and into Armory Square.