Cicero/Clay: Route 31 study continues

The Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) is continuing to work on a study of the Route 31 corridor between Clay and Cicero in an attempt to address long-term traffic issues. The second of three public meetings to discuss the study was held Tuesday night at Cicero Elementary School; about 100 people, including town and county officials, attended.

At the meeting, SMTC officials sought public opinion on several options they had come up with to develop land use and transportation plans along the corridor. Those options were based on goals set by residents at the first public meeting, held in November of 2007.

"At the first meeting, we asked people to set goals and prioritize them," said Meghan Vitale of the SMTC. "We then took that list of goals and evaluated them, developing several alternatives to the current land and traffic use patterns."

The goals were also developed with the aid of an advisory council, which includes the New York State and Onondaga County departments of transportation, Onondaga County Office of Economic Development, Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency, CENTRO, North Syracuse Central School District, Cicero zoning, planning and town boards and Clay planning department, planning board and town board, as well as the Cicero Comprehensive Plan and the Clay Northern Land Use Study.

The study only addresses the long-term (10 to 20 years from now); existing issues and problems as well as short-term solutions are not within the study's range.

At Tuesday's meeting, the SMTC presented six potential scenarios:

-"Future base," or what would happen if no changes were made; this included planned developments at the Clay Industrial Park, commercial development along Route 11 in Cicero, mixed-use hamlets in both towns and residential development north of Route 31 in Clay. These factors were included in all of the alternatives, as well. According to the traffic model, this option, Vitale said, does not meet the study goals and would cause significant traffic increases in all roads studied.

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