October 28, 2013

Champs-Élysées: Paris, France

Comparing Paris to Syracuse is kind of like, well, comparing a fine Cabernet Sauvignon to a glass of salt water. But the hopeless dreamer in me believes that one day Syracuse's post-Interstate 81 land, a 1.4 mile stretch of highway running from Pearl Street to Adams Street, could somewhat resemble Champs-Élysées in Paris (albeit on a much smaller scale and perhaps incorporating ideas of mass transit).

Obviously, if the boulevard concept is ever realized (which is one of several options being considered by the state), a city like Syracuse cannot realistically expect the exact same results as Paris; especially right from the get-go. Still, it never hurts to think big and to dream. Even without having visited it, you can feel how alive the street is. It emanates from the pictures.

October 21, 2013

An Analysis of OnTrack Passenger Rail

Former F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse Intern Eric Ennis completed this extensive report on OnTrack, Syracuse's failed rail system, for his senior thesis.

It's a tremendous read and very interesting if you're at all into the idea of Syracuse having a light rail system one day.

Hat tip to F.O.C.U.S. Greater Syracuse for the link.

October 16, 2013

10 Reasons Why I Do Not Like Save81

"Of course not. You lack vision. But I see a place where people get on and off the freeway. On and off, off and on, all day, all night. Soon, where Toon Town once stood will be a string of gas stations, inexpensive motels, restaurants that serve rapidly prepared food, tire salons, automobile dealerships, and wonderful, wonderful billboards reaching as far as the eye can see! My God, it will be beautiful."
- Judge Doom, "Who Framed Roger Rabbit"

In August of 2013, Save81, a coalition of Onondaga County Legislatures, Destiny USA representatives, and local businesses, was launched. The group is dedicated to keeping the I-81 highway through Syracuse in some capacity (be it underground, depressed, or via a new highway) and is vehemently opposed to a boulevard concept; one of several options being considered by the New York State Department of Transportation.

Since the group's inception, Save81 has managed to gather signatures and add membership from local residents, businesses, and politicians. However, in the process they've managed to ignore recent facts and trends, have shown flaws in their arguments, and have been unable to demonstrate with any sustenance as to why they do not support the excluded boulevard option. This post is not written just because I disagree with their stance. It's written because the group cannot formulate a legitimate argument and is therefore detrimental to an intelligent discussion of I-81. The following are 10 reasons why I do not like Save81.