FOCUS Greater Syracuse is highlighting 20 communitywide achievements as the organization marks its 20th year. These 20 are a glimpse of how far we have come since the 1998 community vision sessions set 87 goals. These accomplishments show what can be done and has been done, not necessarily by FOCUS, but by Forging Our Community’s United Strength.
Bike Paths and Hiking Trails
We aren’t ranking goals, just giving them some order. But back in 2010 when the community was asked to identify the Top 10 priority goals, this one was on more lists than any other. The theory is that while it may not be the most urgent need, it is the one most accessible to all people of all ages, all incomes, and relatively easy to accomplish.
FOCUS has held forums that have kept this popular topic moving forward. Onondaga County Department of Parks and Recreation completed a master plan for trails and began construction by 1999. Final segments of the Loop the Lake Trail around Onondaga Lake are to be completed in the next year or two.
FOCUS volunteers worked with bicycling advocates and the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council on a report on community needs and formed Walk Bike CNY. Information from the report has been used to support plans for bicycling facilities. The City of Syracuse has added bike lanes along Salina Street, the Connective Corridor to Syracuse University and Eastwood. Syracuse also is in the process of extending the Creek Walk along Onondaga Creek from Onondaga Lake and Armory Square through the city and has a bike-share plan.
This year New York State Department of Transportation has unveiled plans for completion of the Empire State Trail from Camillus through Syracuse and DeWitt to be completed by 2020. This cross-state trail following the path of the Erie Canal has been a big draw for visitors. More than 650 riders are expected for Parks and Trails New York’s 20th annual Erie Canal bike tour July 8-15, 2018.
Planners from Syracuse and DeWitt worked together and attracted global attention to the project with the Elevating Erie competition to redesign the trail’s route along Erie Boulevard. Plans were displayed at the Erie Canal Museum through May 11, 2018.
That’s just one of 20 featured goals. For the full list of 87 goals and more about FOCUS CLICK HERE.