Sharing the road: Syracuse looks to be more bike friendly

The City of Syracuse is taking steps to make riding a bike in the city a more pleasurable experience.

On Wednesday night, the city is holding two public presentations to discuss the Syracuse Bike Plan. The plan outlines a fully connected bike network for the city.

"We have a grid in this city that allows us a lot of of flexibility when it comes to transportation options. And the hope is we can make some corridors more prioritized for cyclists, and others more prioritized for cars," said Transportation Planner Paul Mercurio.

The Syracuse Bike Plan plans to add 4.2 miles of designated on-street bicycle infrastructure to downtown streets. "I own property downtown and live in it and I think having bike and walkable trails is really important to urban life. And one of the attractions of living in the city," said Russ Andrews, who lives downtown and rides a bike.

The second meeting will discuss the southern end of the Syracuse bicycle infrastructure network, the valley. This network will contain the entry points for cyclists riding in from points south of the city line. The valley currently has bike lanes on South Salina Street from Dorwin Ave to Seneca Turnpike. The Syracuse bike plan adds 3.2 miles of designated on-street bicycle infrastructure to Valley streets.

The city already has 10 miles of bike lanes, but many are not connected. The goal is to link these up with new, main corridors, so bikers can get through the city easily. "The intention is we start linking these up. We have a lot of bike lanes on the East Side that are pretty interconnected. We are trying to expand from there," said Mercurio.

The plan launches designs up James Street in Eastwood, the Northside, the Southside and over to the West as well. Changes could be coming in the next few months, with more longterm infrastructure being built in the next few years. The city will apply for grants to pay for the multi-million dollar project.

The city is taking public comment on the project, and there are a number of meetings set for the next few weeks in various Syracuse neighborhoods. For more information, click here.