Press Release: Free the Cycle Track
Posted by Steve Reiter on March 10, 2015
FREE THE CYCLE TRACK
One block of the state-of-the-art cycle track on University Avenue has been covered over and blocked off for nearly a year, creating dangerous conditions for pedestrians, motorists, as well as cyclists. With construction halted and now stalled in litigation, there is little hope for it opening soon.
The first phase of the Connective Corridor was completed in 2012. The new bike infrastructure included a 2-lane cycle track on the East Side of University Avenue from East Genesee Street to Waverly Avenue. This first phase of the Connective Corridor cost millions of mostly-federal dollars.
In the spring of 2014, Cameron Hill Construction LLC, the developer of what was to be the new SU bookstore, covered and fenced off one block of the cycle track between Adams Street and Marshall Street. Orange signs now direct cyclists to dismount their bicycles and walk on the sidewalk on the west side of University Avenue, essentially destroying the functionality of the entire cycle track. It is unsafe, not only for bicyclists and pedestrians, but also for motorists, who must now contend with unexpected and somewhat unpredictable movement by these other users.
In June 2014, SU attempted to end their contract with Cameron due to lack of progress in construction. In July 2014, Cameron sued to block SU from doing so; and in August, the State Supreme Court granted a temporary injunction prohibiting SU from ending the agreement, simultaneously barring the Syracuse Industrial Development Agency from canceling a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement with Cameron pending the outcome of Cameron’s lawsuit against the university.
Since then, there has been no obvious progress. Seven months have passed while the cycle track has remained closed. This is unacceptable.
BikeCNY is a newly-resurrected Bicycle Advocacy Group in Greater Syracuse that advocates for the safety of bicyclists and the installation of new bicycle infrastructure.
BikeCNY calls on city leaders to step up and resolve this issue so that the cycle track is functional in time for bicyclists to use it when spring weather arrives.
The developer has a permit from the city to close the cycle track. That permit should be revoked and the developer given a deadline to restore the cycle track and remove the fence.
There are a lot of smart, well-paid people involved with this issue from the City, the developer, and the University. BikeCNY requests that they work together to resolve this issue so the people who helped to pay for the cycle track can again use it.