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Public asked to weigh in on plans to revitalize Syracuse's lakefront

lakefront master plan
An overview of proposed projects for the Lakefront area of Syracuse.

Central New Yorkers are being asked to offer their feedback on about a dozen preliminary plans aimed at reshaping Syracuse’s lakefront. The city and Onondaga County have released roughly $100 million worth of ideas for the waterfront community, which includes the southern end of Onondaga Lake, the Inner harbor, and Onondaga Creek. City Planner Owen Kerney says they’re focused on projects that protect natural resources, expand waterfront access, and create recreational opportunities.

"Those range from streetscape projects focused on transportation and safety, to recreational space enhancement, connecting existing trails between Loop the Lake and Onondaga Creekwalk."

Others include a proposed $1.6 million Lake Lounge Trailhead for public access and viewing along the south shore of Onondaga Lake. It would also serve as the connection to the new segment of the Loop the Lake trail that crosses Murphy’s Island. Kerney says the projects aim to fill gaps and connect numerous existing assets like the trails, NBT Bank Stadium, and the Inner Harbor.

"What we are doing is taking a comprehensive approach to determining what are projects the city and county could do, with coordination from New York State, to set the stage for future investment."

The city has struggled for decades to re-develop the Lakefront beyond scattered, stand-alone projects such as hotels. But Kerney hopes this plan along with public input will lead to projects that truly enhance the area. After the public survey closes in late January, he says planners will refine the projects for a draft probably by summer. More public input, followed by final revisions would take place before the plan goes before city and county lawmakers for approval. You can see the project and take the survey here. It’s open through January 31st.

Scott Willis covers politics, local government, transportation, and arts and culture for WAER. He came to Syracuse from Detroit in 2001, where he began his career in radio as an intern and freelance reporter. Scott is honored and privileged to bring the day’s news and in-depth feature reporting to WAER’s dedicated and generous listeners. You can find him on twitter @swillisWAER and email him at