Syracuse is about to open a downtown bus terminal that will remove “large crowds of people waiting behind walls of noisy buses” from a nearby intersection. The 22-bay facility cost nearly $19 million. The intersection that served as the transfer hub will soon be home to upscale apartments and restaurants.
It’s a dramatic gentrification with few critics.
Nearly every group affected by the change – from the mostly poor and black bus riders to the mostly white bankers and lawyers who work nearby – agree the move is long overdue. The buses and people have far outgrown the intersection, pushing their way into street traffic, privately-owned bathrooms and sidewalk storefronts that make for an unsafe and unwelcome mess.
The riders, who must now wait for the bus outdoors in one of the country’s snowiest cities, are eager to move to an off-street, covered shelter where people can wait indoors. The businesses, some of whom have complained openly about violence, intimidation and unruliness from the crowds, are ready to enjoy more orderly stoops for their staffs and clients.
The Liberty Pole bus transfer point is often a chaotic scene. The buses will be removed once RGRTA completes its bus station on Mortimer St. Construction just started. The sale of the Sibley Building will likely bring gentrification, with apartments and restaurants. Midtown’s development has the potential to do the same.
Some critics of the Syracuse station said the city is “herding” the poor to another area of downtown to make way for the rich. But supporters say the bus riders desperately need shelter and bathrooms and a safe and pleasant transportation experience. The Syracuse bus station seems to have generated far less controversy than Rochester’s project.
Rochester should monitor how things go in Syracuse.
Links of the Day:
– Energy companies are going door to door soliciting new customers, promising better rates. The state Public Service Commission is under pressure to release price comparisons to help consumers. The industry opposes the idea.
– Bystanders wounded by New York City police in the Empire State Building incident will likely sue – and lose.
– A Democrat and Chronicle columnist suggests naming the Seneca Park Zoo lions after Maggie and Louise. After all, politicians want their names on everything. Why not smelly zoo animals? Nestor Ramos even suggests getting one of the lion’s manes cut like Maggie’s hair. Aside from the total lack of balance (Louise was thrown in for good measure at the end), I found the piece juvenile and a tad sexist. Lion imagery invoked the “catfight” cliche. Would this column have been written about male politicians?