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Syracuse's civic strip to get Connective Corridor-inspired upgrades

Barton & Loguidice
A rendering of planned improvements to Syracuse's civic strip.

The city of Syracuse’s downtown civic strip includes cultural assets such as the War Memorial, Oncenter and Civic Center. Onondaga County is planning some transportation and cosmetic improvements to the area.

The project is being spearheaded by the county and Syracuse University to link the civic strip to the Connective Corridor, a series of improvement projects bridging the university to downtown Syracuse.

Civil engineer Christopher Rauber, with the Onondaga County Department of Transportation, said the enhancements will include more bike lanes and crosswalks, pedestrian countdown timers and curb ramps as well as decorative pavers and surface treatments.

“The idea was that, let’s reach out from the Connective Corridor and let’s connect some of these venues to it," Rauber said. "If we can make the fabric between the two a little bit more consistent, it would go a long way to promote pedestrian and bicycle usage off of the Connective Corridor.”

The upgrades would have a similar feel to the Connective Corridor with its brick sidewalks and signs with bold, red letter.

"It's also seen as a community project," Rauber said. "We want to get all folks feeling more comfortable in their environments."

The cost is estimated at $1.5 million. Federal funding will cover 80 percent of the project with a 20 percent local match. SU has committed around $500,000 to other improvements in the area like its outdoor Urban Video Project at the Everson Museum.

And the plans are all still in the design phase. The county is encouraging public input over the next two weeks. Construction would begin next year.

Tom Magnarelli is a reporter covering the central New York and Syracuse area. He joined WRVO as a freelance reporter in 2012 while a student at Syracuse University and was hired full time in 2015. He has reported extensively on politics, education, arts and culture and other issues around central New York.