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Bike-sharing, more police cameras could be coming to Syracuse

Tom Magnarelli
WRVO Public Media
The Syracuse Common Council.

Bike-sharing could soon be coming to the city of Syracuse. The Syracuse Common Council is expected to vote Monday on allowing Gotcha Bike to run the city’s bike-share program for a two-year period.

Neil Burke, a transportation planner with the city’s Department of Public Works, said Gotcha Bike was selected from a lengthy process to design and operate the program at no cost to the city. Burke said there will also be a revenue sharing agreement with the city.

“The specifics of that are in contract negotiations," Burke said. "But it was something that we are very interested in as a committee and it was part of the reason we selected Gotcha Bike as the vendor.”

Common Council President Helen Hudson said there will be three wheeler bikes available for the disabled, as well as little to no cost for low-income residents to rent bikes.

“They may not necessarily have the disposable income to rent a bike so we’re working it out with Gotcha,” Hudson said.

The company needs a month or more to determine all the operational issues, but a rollout is being planned for late summer, early fall.

Police cameras

More police surveillance cameras could be added in Syracuse in front of two major hospitals. The Syracuse Police Department received a grant from the Department of Homeland Security for the additional cameras. First Dep. Chief Joe Cecil said it will help to have the cameras in the area around Upstate University Hospital and Crouse Hospital.  

“Different times of the night, we have shootings, sometimes homicides, where the victim is dropped off at the hospitals and then the person that drops them off leaves,” Cecil said. “These cameras will give us that one little tidbit that allows us to begin the investigation.”

The Syracuse Common Council is scheduled to vote on accepting the money Monday. Cecil said the cameras could be up before fall. More police cameras will also be installed on the city’s north and south sides.    

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.