Central New York, Community, Consumer

Empire State Trail Expected To Bring Changes To Erie Boulevard

Plans for the Empire State Trail will expand into Syracuse. (c) 2018 Brenda Koopsen

Video Transcript: Empire State Trail

Click the play button above to find out why some community members are concerned with the construction of the Empire State Trail.

By Brenda Koopsen SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)— Change is coming to Erie Boulevard, and not everyone is in agreement. With the expansion of the Empire State Trail in Syracuse, some community members fear it could make things worse for the area, according to Gene Cilento with the New York State Department of Public Transportation.

“There were a few complaints about it,” Cilento said. “The reduction of travel or reduction of one lane on Erie Boulevard is going to lead to more traffic and more congestion and difficulty to get into some driveways.”

As New York state plans to expand the 750-mile trail into the median of Erie Boulevard, fewer driving lanes will make room for the new trail. Residents say that this will affect travel.

Despite these issues, Cilento said many community members are in favor of the trail. Much of the trail already exists, but the parts within the city are difficult to build, he said.

The trail will stretch across New York State and along the Canadian border. Construction plans for the trail will connect existing trails with new trails into the city to complete the system. A pedestrian trail will go in each direction of travel, according to Cilento.

Cilento said the area needs this expansion and the existing parts of the trails is a positive thing.

“I think this is a good idea for the public to get more people involved in walking and biking, and it will greatly benefit the community.”

Construction is expected to begin in Spring 2019 and be completed by Spring 2020, according to the Department of Transportation’s website.