Cities are seeking ways to improve life and become increasingly holistic. While many cities have ideal goals, they require a trigger that both initiates and ensures a sustainable future. In the case for Erie Blvd this includes an opportunity to reclaim lost habitats. Rather than perpetuate a pattern of development shaped around the private automobile that yields a non walkable collection of small architecture on large tarmacs of parking - instead, the ‘Cycle District on Erie Blvd’ deploys an elevated cycle and trailway.
A cycle district, while sounding predominantly ‘bike centric’ - is a strategy that intends to aggressively challenge the private car development model by employing lightweight infrastructure - like painted lanes, trails, and moments of elevated paths with traffic calming scenarios that further motivate low energy modes of mobility like walking, jogging, biking, bus, and bike share programs. In a mixed-use setting these paths connect and shape spaces with trails that sweep deep into the site and dissolve edges to connect Eastwood, Eastside, Dewitt and East Syracuse with new meaningful transit and community experiences.
ReSCALED AND ReCONFIGURED ERIE BLVD
The proposed Erie Boulevard is reduced in width, and reconfigured to accommodate alternative mobility options. The new scale allows for a strong public realm with defined streetwalls along public ways, each side of the boulevard contributes to the community’s place-making.
The trails are conceptualized as a series of large programmed loops that stitch Erie blvd and Burnet Ave in dramatic fashion over and under interstate 690 and 481- uniting the edges and habitats of adjacent neighborhoods (Dewitt, Eastwood, Eastside, and East Syracuse) as a complete district. The loops connect to the greater 400 mile trailway and unite existing bike paths through a reconfigured pedestrian friendly street network that includes a dedicated bus shuttle and bike lane for personal and a signature bike share system that diminishes parking needs to trigger a new network of healthy development practices and ecologically sensitive destinations, and habitats. The proposed trail operates as a device for organizing healthy environments and promoting ecological restoration. Development is organized with landscapes of urban harvest, structured wetlands, community event and gathering spaces, health and sports, educational, and wildlife habitat.
SPEED / PACE / EXPERIENCES OF CIVIC SPACE
The trail offers a mix of experiences to enhance the quality of life for urbanites and wildlife alike. Erie Boulevard offers a variety of retail and restaurants, and outdoor spaces for gathering. As a destination along the 400 mile passage, lanes on Erie Boulevard are reconfigured for shared bike lane for buses, and alternative vehicles. The greater function of the trail is to define zones of programmed landscapes. The loops - at times elevated, allow constructed and existing habitats to freely flow below and with bikes and pedestrians elevated among the trees above.