|There are two seasons upstate: Winter and construction
Tuesday is construction season Thursday is snow season
It’s been jokingly said that there are two seasons upstate: Winter and construction. We had both this week. Tuesday it was 50 degrees and the streets were filled with equipment and work crews. Thursday it was five degrees, with wind chills of 15 below, and the streets were filled with the heaviest snow of the season.
Temperature extremes are part of the reason it’s always pothole season (and water main break season) here in upstate. Streets along much of the Corridor have not been rebuilt since 1940, so this is important work. Smart Growth America notes that across the country, “roads are crumbling, financial liabilities are mounting, and conditions are not improving,” despite national spending of $16.5 billion between 2009 and 2011. The group estimates that $45 billion per year is needed to keep our country’s roads and streets in good repair. There is an interesting report by Smart Growth America here that outlines the return on infrastructure investment.
The bottom line: Fixing streets is good for drivers, communities and municipal budgets. Building green infrastructure to help mitigate stress on aging storm water systems makes good business sense. Plus, green streets make cities more pedestrian, bike and smart transit friendly. That’s what we’re doing here in Syracuse.
These next phases of the Corridor are largely funded through a U.S. DOT TIGER grant – a highly competitive national initiative that communities across the country vie for to secure funds to address important infrastructure needs and economic development opportunities. The City of Syracuse and Syracuse University collaborated to win $10 million to bring back home to our community to make Connective Corridor phase two/three improvements. Onondaga County brought resources to the table through its Save the Rain Program. It’s a great partnership and the envy of many other communities.
So, as we weathered the “Vulcan storm” this week, we’ll weather construction season together, too. Like winter, it presents its share of challenges, but the good thing about construction season is that it's good for all us ... short-term pain for long-term gain.
Next week on the Corridor
Blue skies return and work continues in the two block stretch along West Fayette from West Street to Clinton Street, installing drainage systems and water treatment units in preparation for new City water mains. There will be one-lane, one-way traffic through this stretch (weather dependent), and there may be road closures and detours late next week as crews work in the middle of the streets. Detours will be posted. Moving into the following week, National Grid will be doing major infrastructure upgrades in this area related to duct and vault work.
Connective Corridor bus service will see detours, so please consult centro.org for alerts. You can sign up for handy text alerts from Centro, which is the best way to keep abreast of route changes related to construction (or the many unexpected water main breaks that seem to be popping up all over the city this time of year.)
'Tis the season to be green
The West Fayette Street area will be open and clear for the festivities around St. Patrick’s Day, so come to Armory Square and Downtown to celebrate. Festivities start Friday afternoon with an Irish Heritage Celebration at City Hall, followed by the parade on Saturday.
Here are 15 ways to celebrate, courtesy of syracuse.com
For a good project perspective, enjoy this CC progress video by WSYR TV News Channel 9.
Watch for CC pop-up art during the St. Patrick’s Day Parade
Thanks to our partners at the 40 Below Public Arts Taskforce (many of whom are local alumni), a grand scale pop-up art show is planned this weekend along the parade route. Watch for the Connective Corridor’s #DearSyracuseWithLove project to re-emerge as pop up art, featuring some of the best images from our recent ‘Cusescapes photo contest which was open to SU students and the community. The location is a surprise, but if you watch TV coverage, you’ll be sure to catch these. It’s a cooperative project between 40 Below PATF and Syracuse’s Land Bank (Greater Syracuse Property Development Corporation) to beautify some underutilized buildings. We’re hoping to see more of these around downtown.
Watch upcoming Corridor newsletters for some other fun projects we have percolating with 40 Below and the 40 Below Public Arts Taskforce.
Join us Connective Corridor Beautification Day: April 12
The Connective Corridor, Police Retirees of Syracuse and CNY, and area businesses and community members are holding a Connective Corridor Beautification Day in conjunction with The City of Syracuse’s annual Clean up ‘Cuse project and OCRRA’s countywide Earth Day clean up.
Join us at Forman Park, Saturday, April 12, 2014 from 9 a.m. until noon. We’ll be working with neighbors, volunteers, and sponsors to clean up and beautify the park and the stretch of East Genesee Street area that morning. We’d really love to see you. Bring your gloves and a plastic garbage bag for litter patrol.
This will also kick off our monthly Forman Park Beautification Days – the second Saturday of each month from April to November.
Did you donate yet to the Beautify Syracuse Fund at the CNY Community Foundation? It’s easy to donate on-line. Every gift helps. https://www.cnycf.org/syracusebeauty
Or, use social media through our SU student startup, Centscere, to help your small change make a big difference.
Want to volunteer to be part of the beautification effort? E-mail email@example.com
Making it easier to take the CC bus:
A new mobile app for Android users
Corridor bus users, if you are an iOS user, you already know our CC USE app. (Quick link to free iDevice mobile app: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/use/id521824808)
But our Android friends have been asking for a mobile app they could use, too. Thanks to Dr. Polar Humenn (SU B.S. M.S., and Ph.D.) and his start-up company, Busme, CC bus users now also have access to a great Android mobile bus app. If you’re an Android user who wants a great app to track the #443 Connective Corridor bus, check out http://syracuse-university.busme.us/
Dr. Polar Humenn is a computer scientist, academic, business owner and entrepreneur, with strong academic and research ties to SU. Learn more about him here.
Busme was the recipient of SU’s Raymond von Dran IDEA Award for Energy and Sustainability award for trying to make riding the bus more efficient and convenient for riders, thereby increasing the use of public transportation and lowering the carbon footprint.
Get out and explore the Corridor
What to see? What to do? Get some good ideas here.
What’s going on Downtown over the next week? Find out here.
Need a map? Here's one.
Want to find parking? Here's a handy downtown parking guide.
It's our version of white glove service, but it's white hard hats. Have a construction question? Folks out in the field wearing white hard hats are construction team leaders. Here are construction hotline numbers to keep handy as well:
Feel free to share this e-mail and don’t hesitate to call or e-mail with questions: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Connective Corridor / Syracuse – Onondaga County Planning Agency: 315-448-8110
- Connective Corridor B&L Engineering / CC Construction field office: 315-477-5036
- Connective Corridor / SU Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development: 315-443-4137
Spring officially arrives next week. Hurray!
Looking forward to seeing red tulips popping up along the Corridor, brightening up the 'Cuse!