Elevating Erie Looks to Close Canalway Gap

TIME WARNER CABLE NEWS - CENTRAL NY

The Erie Canalway Trail runs from Albany to Buffalo.

Right in the middle is a 14-mile gap across Central New York.

"Our intention from the outset was to collect a bunch of big ideas for what to do with this corridor, and to help the community to close the gap in the Canalway Trail," Dewitt Planning and Zoning Director Sam Gordon said.

Project leaders launched Elevating Erie to close the gap. Dozens of proposals later and there's a flurry of ideas to transform the Canalway gap from DeWitt to Camillus.

Elevating Erie project unearths possibilities beneath Erie Boulevard sprawl (Editorial)

Syracuse.com

Erie Boulevard could be any commercial strip in any Upstate New York city -- “ six lanes of traffic separated by a wide median and bordered by retail stores, fast-food restaurants, asphalt parking strips and weedy, litter-strewn lots.

Except it's not just any six-lane road. It was built on top of the Erie Canal. And all the canal did for 19th century America was to open the West to settlement and trade, make New York City the financial capital of the world, and put Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo on the map -- literally.

Competition hopes to elevate historic Erie Canal path

WRVO 

Before the Erie Canal was dug almost 200 years ago, Syracuse was a swampy village of 250 people. Once that canal opened up commerce between the Hudson River and Lake Erie, the city grew dramatically. It’s this history that the Syracuse and the town of DeWitt want to reclaim, by revitalizing the 14-mile gap in the original canal path, which currently exists between DeWitt and Camillus.

What would make Erie Boulevard friendlier? A contest will pay you for the best idea

SYRACUSE.COM

More than a century ago, the Erie Canal welcomed travelers to Syracuse.

Today, the historic pathway -- now Erie Boulevard -- is anything but welcoming.

The commercial six-lane thoroughfare is jammed with strip centers, stores, gas stations and restaurants. It's not a place where people go to walk, jog, or bike and it's certainly not known for its attractiveness.

Planners want to change that, and they are running a contest to engage the public and experts in submitting their ideas.

The idea is to solicit proposals for transforming the four-mile section of Erie Boulevard that runs through DeWitt and Syracuse into a revitalized, reborn corridor that people want to use and appreciate. At the same time, the improvements would honor the historical importance of the Erie Canal in Syracuse and DeWitt.