Biking near Syracuse… or Rochester

What’s wrong with this first picture? Google maps has a nifty function now by which you can easily see the locations of dedicated bike paths, such as canal or rail trails (dark green), bike lanes in streets (light green), and recommended streets for bike travel (dotted green). In searching out bike paths in the Central New York area, here’s the picture I got:

Okay, so we basically have Onondaga Lake Park and the Old Erie Canal trails, except not in the city itself. You can get from Fayetteville to Rome but you can’t get from Fayetteville to Camillus on a bike.

That’s not to say people haven’t been working on this. The Syracuse New Times published a great article loaded with information on all that’s being done in the area. But, to date, the results are sketchy at best. Compare the above map with the same view of Rochester:

Yikes! Well, at least we have The Dome, where we can go sit on our derrières and watch other people exercise.

I went looking for suggestions on what to do about this. My first stop was the SMTC Bicycle and Pedestrian Plan. Uh-oh. The website was last updated in 2005. Why is it still sitting there, and what’s going on with it?

Then I found the more current Onondaga Cycling Club’s Advocacy page. This has a handy list of links. The first link, to Bike CNY, is also much more up to date, with its most recent post dated December 2, 2010. It, too, has a great list of links. Plenty of reading material for a cold February day. When you think of it, there’s a lot to get done before it’s time to drag the bikes out of the basement. We need more green on our map!

3 thoughts on “Biking near Syracuse… or Rochester”

  1. There is a group of people very interested in creating a more connected trail system throughout CNY. Check out our interim website:, for more information. The group is called CNY Pathways. It includes members of city, and county government, citizens and other organizations. If you’re interested, we would be happy to have you come and attend our meetings, and would like it even more if you wanted to join the group. Our next meeting is Thursday March March 3, 830-930, 7th floor City Hall Commons. For more information, please feel free to contact us at

  2. The google map representation of Rochester is a little generous. Many of those green lines are just roads with reasonable shoulders.

    However, we do have a well connected set of trails including the River trail, the Lehigh Valley trail, the Genesee Valley trail and of course the Canal trail.

    Looking forward to the day when I can visit my sister in Fayetteville by riding the canal trail the whole way!

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