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October 2023 Newsletter

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October 2023 (Volume 1, Issue 1)

Syracuse Urbanism Club recently published

“Our official public comment on the I-81 Viaduct Project”


The Syracuse Urbanism Club makes this public comment on the NYSDOT’s designs for the Community Grid Option of the I-81 Viaduct Project with the goal of a productive collaboration with the NYSDOT to create the best project outcomes for all users. The Community Grid is the right path forward for our city, and we see an opportunity to fine-tune the details of the project’s designs to ensure an even greater success for the NYSDOT’s transformative efforts in the Salt City. In this document, we’ve made a series of suggestions for enhancements to public spaces, bicycle / pedestrian / transit infrastructure, plantings, traffic, design details, and community creative involvement relevant to the scope of the I-81 Viaduct Project. We look forward to working with all stakeholders to implement these changes where feasible and in the best interests of the public. FULL DOCUMENT WITH IMAGES

Rand Tract Park—Hiking in the Heart of the Valley


Rand Tract Park is in the heart of the Valley neighborhood. It is 95 acres of forest and a two mile loop of moderate hiking trail. It connects to Webster Pond, which is located at 2004 Valley Drive.

There are two entrances to Rand Tract Park. The only marked entrance is the entrance that is accessed by walking the circular Webster Pond trail. There is a small Rand Tract Information Station in front of a blue metal gate that allows entry into Rand Tract.


Getting There—Poor Walkability, Especially from the South

If a North Valley resident wants to walk to the Webster Pond entrance, they can walk south on Valley Drive from West Seneca Turnpike. Most of the walk will be via sidewalks, but there will come a time when the pedestrian needs to walk in the street with no crosswalk.

If a South Valley resident wants to walk to the Webster Pond entrance, most of the walk will be in the street. Those coming from South Valley need to walk down Dorwin Avenue and/or Valley Drive. Dorwin Avenue has no sidewalks from Kelly Park to Valley Drive. Valley Drive has no sidewalks south of Crafton Avenue. This means no sidewalks exist for almost one full mile between Kelly Park and Webster Pond.

The other entrance to Rand Tract Park is via Hopper Road. Hopper Road dead-ends at the park, but there are no signs for the park. Instead, there is a tiny path and a small sign that reads “Bird Sanctuary.”

If a North Valley resident wants to walk to the Hopper Road entrance, they will have no sidewalks on Hopper Road until they reach the dead end. Alternatively, they could walk south on Valley Drive to Chaffee Avenue, and walk west on Chaffee Avenue until they reached the end of Hopper Road, which is the unmarked entrance to Rand Tract Park. This is not a convenient walk for a South Valley resident.

Walking to Rand Tract Park (and Webster Pond) would be easier and safer with sidewalks.

Syracuse Infrastructure News


Please stay up to date on infrastructure improvements throughout the city. The Syr.Gov site includes updates on Traffic and Infrastructure News, the Municipal Sidewalk Program, and Bicycle Infrastructure.

Call for Features


Would you like your organization, project, or event featured in the Syracuse Urbanism Club newsletter? Please send the following to

·         150-200 word description of your organization, project, or event.

·         Picture or image you would like to accompany your feature.

·         Deadline/special dates for projects and events.

·         Contact person for any follow up questions.

October Meeting


Our October Meeting will take place at the normal place and time: The last Tuesday of the month—Tuesday, October 31, 2023. We will meet at Bank Alley Social Club at McCarthy Mercantile, 217 S Salina Street. Costumes are encouraged, but not required. We will have candy!

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