Syracuse Coe intermodal Transportation Facility (itf) Design Forum (6/19/06) The Marx Hotel, Syracuse, ny comments and Ideas



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Syracuse CoE Intermodal Transportation Facility (ITF)


Design Forum (6/19/06)

The Marx Hotel, Syracuse, NY
Comments and Ideas

The forum was moderated by the EPA Region 2 Environmental Finance Center at The Maxwell School (Syracuse University), with additional facilitation assistance from the Program on the Analysis and Resolution of Conflicts (PARC) at Maxwell, Syracuse CoE, Syracuse University (SU) Career Services Office, SU Center for Public and Community Service, and SU/SUNY ESF Office of Environment and Society (EnSPIRE).
Seventy-six people participated representing academia, nonprofit organizations, community and environmental groups, businesses, manufacturers, transportation agencies, local government officials, and the general public.
Brainstorming occurred around the following questions:


  • What type of programming should the new ITF embody/promote?

  • What are some design elements that should be included in the new ITF?

  • What process should SU and the CoE follow to continue this design scoping process?

Note: Some ideas below were placed under one category, but share components of both programming and design.


Programming Ideas

Flexibility needs to incorporate different modes of transportation

Have bike lanes/paths and “weatherize” these – more bike “connectivity”

Incorporate towropes to get up hill

Uses buses to carry bikes

Have a major security presence (sub-station of SU Public Safety)

Provide electric cars and a “fuel store”

Manage a bike exchange (web coordinated, could be sponsored by corporations)

Provide a bike rental program

Co-locate a bike repair shop

Engage community with the facility – economic opportunities, bench marking

Enhance CoE neighborhood services – dry cleaners, groceries, restaurants, and list of what services are around

Be a primary hub for various modes of transportation to the airport, train/bus station (link to this regional intermodal center), inner harbor, malls, creekwalk, Amory Square, downtown, regional points of interest, etc.

Connect to “On Track” for SU games, and rail in general (how to do this?)

Clarify how motorized wheelchairs fit signage

Provide a fleet of bikes to use by people coming on different modes

Provide numerous support facilities – food, restrooms, ATM, coffee shop, business center, dry-cleaner, etc., so folks don’t need to leave for services

Co-locate car rental facilities

De-emphasize cars

Have programming tied to a nearby closed street

Put tourist center at ITF (move from Canal Museum)

Provide joint parking for people who work on the hill SU/SUNY/Crouse – don’t just have this be an SU focused facility (this will help bring the “Hill” community closer together)

Develop a bus only lane from the CoE to the “Hill”

Develop a parking master plan with input from SU/hospitals/CC/CoE

Incorporate preferential treatment of traffic lights for bikes and buses from CoE to hill

Closing selected street(s) for bus/bike use only somewhere between CoE and hill

Beyond simple services, the ITF needs attractions (attractions that have public feel will bring-in groups); such as, an aquarium, cultural displays/symbols, a speaker’s corner (“soap box”), musicians, an art gallery, a swan pond, trees, a playground, a café/wine bar, a newsstand, etc.)

Incorporate features that enhance the entire city/area: outpost satellite for the Chamber of Commerce, etc.

Pull-off area for taxis

Have visible and interactive “way-finding” – good signage, events kiosks, schedules

Provide a preference for taxis using alternative fuels

Beyond the ITF, have the ITF sponsor a bike pick-up/drop off at several sites throughout the city

Have shuttles to secondary parking

Focus on the development potential of surrounding area, attract high tech businesses

Have the ITF be an international model of transportation – consider the following: gondola, monorail (convert Interstate 81 to this), cycles, pedestrian, buses, cars, alternate fuel (electric, hybrid, ethanol), parking and shuttle for University, medical, airport, downtown

The ITF should be a portal; an “Introduction to Syracuse”

Incorporate educational messages about the CoE, and have “visitors center info. on CoE

Develop unique partnerships with private developers

Have secure alternatives (exp. what to do with if you have a bike and it rains)

Have a “home grown” display (local products)

Develop relationship with and use Time Warner’s assistance (one block away)

The ITF should be a catalyst for local development

Provide a hotel/accommodation board

Have “Little car – smart card car” programs

Develop a computer-based ride-sharing program (similar to Washington, San Fran.)

Have interpretive exhibits – historical (Erie Canal), explain intermodal (how to use), etc.

Require vehicles to be green that are owned by CoE

Discounts (to use facility) provided for alternative energy vehicles and for students – (this will encourage use by students and use of alt. energy)

Progressive trash pickup/recycling – keep it clean!, regular pick up, etc. (similar to Disney model) – make it inviting (incentive to leave it that way)

Transportation to key areas in city to encourage settling residentially

Develop Light rail system – Destiny USA, for commuters

Connect with “Connective Corridor” – develop technology and processes using SU as model and look at other corridors

Have the ITF mimic the “common center” of 50 years ago where all things come together (center for community, center of connectivity)

Encourage hydrogen buses (like Chicago)

Provide PODS of NEV around town

The ITF should embody a systematic approach that is transparent, and shows connectivity to the entire CNY transportation system

Connecting by concept – empire link, proposed by 7 community colleges (including OCC)

Develop a bikeway/cruise way – all year use – 8 ft wide roadway built in the air, consistent/height rise, 5 horse motor, carries bicycles up, cruise down – SURC

Coordinated with current bike NEV

The CoE should own fleet of NEV

Design Elements
The facility should be easy to access, well thought out, convenient and flexible

Performance category – make things easier

Incorporate Segways vehicles – personal human transportation, could move people, 30 mi – feet

It should be co-located with the CoE headquarters

Incorporate a loading dock

Have places to change clothes and take shower

Provide lockers

Provide protected storage for bikes

Use a wind generator – to power vehicles

Have it be a USGBC LEED certified parking garage/facility

Have plenty of open space (for picnic tables, receptions, an “underground”, an open-air market, glass enclosed waiting area, educational opportunities while waiting, etc.)

Incorporate innovative lighting/safety

Make the ITF a hot spot for Internet connection

Keep passengers protected in winter, open in good weather

The ITF should be environmentally friendly:


  • energy from renewables (p-v cells, etc.)

  • natural habitats (bird box/nesting)

  • environmentally friendly surfaces

  • don’t create more urban heat islands

  • design for run-off/drainage concerns (e.g., run off into vegetative swales to filter out pollutants)

  • “green” roof, community garden

Provide a storage area for snow

Facility should be inconspicuous, aesthetically pleasing, (i.e.: incorporate underground wiring)

Build in flexibility for future transportation (roller-bladers?)

The ITF should visibly exhibit state-of-the art technology with all its function (WI-FI, interactive GIS capabilities, etc.)

Incorporate geothermal system (melt snow, heated sidewalks)

Pay particular attention to sidewalks

Have security cameras

Develop a parking garage (above grade)

Needs to be expandable

Have a Helipad on top

Permeable pavement parking lot – green parking design

Design so that it can accommodate another structure on top of garage – “densify”

Provide comfortable waiting areas with access to TV (have programming that would promote sustainability)

Have mixed use – build residential and commercial apartments/stores on top

“Plug ins” for hybrid vehicles and electric bicycles/scooters

Utilize “Eco-creto” – Mexican product, concrete provides 100% drainage

Utilize “Glassphalt” – helps with recycling of glass locally

Model after Curatiba, Brazil Q model for buses, efficiency, and cleanliness

Develop Greenwalls on parking garage

Have a CN6 station

Address Water Street – does not go anywhere, concealed areas to be improved

Input Generation Process (Scoping) Ideas
Solicit input from: local neighbors, students, folks living very close (what they need, what they would use)

Get input from elderly on their needs: turning radius, signage, etc.

Have more public participation in design

Have a programming process that produces a continuous study on who is going where and where are they coming from?

Collaborate with the Centro intermodal project

Follow federal and state processes to keep funding sources available

Have public opinion survey

Talk to business groups

Provide forums for public, to educate and define facility, and to continue brainstorming

Have stakeholder sessions – e.g., specific investment groups

Sponsor focus groups

Use proto-type models to serve as example

Educate elected leadership (local, state, fed.)

Sponsor a design contest



Develop a lot of publicity – news articles, etc.
Top Ideas from Participants
As Forum participants left, they were asked to write down a single, top idea for the facility. Here are their responses:


  • Close downtown/university streets and transport from IMF via bikes/buses/golf carts

  • Work with city to develop bike lanes along main routes (e.g. Genesee Street, Erie Blvd. Euclid Ave.)

  • Weatherized (all season) pathway for bikes, walking

  • Hook up with existing mass transit systems (Amtrak, Airport, Centro)
  • Create a highly sustainable and regenerative center that: 1) introduces, educates, demonstrates and supports the use of all available transportation, giving favor to those transport technologies that have the least impact (i.e. walk, bike, elec.); 2) Provides technology, cultural, education opportunity to make the wait time productive.


  • Engage local neighborhoods

  • Program to attract people

  • Develop surrounding area/assist businesses, adding new

  • Include community in getting input

  • Make it convenient, comfortable

  • Incorporate open areas

  • Communication center

  • Safety and security

  • Collaborate with Intermodal Transportation Facility under construction by Centro

  • Provide alternatives to cars to max extent possible via bike routes/facilitating buses, safe pedestrian access, wheelchairs, etc.

  • Must have state of the art internet café with: international newsstand, large real-time AV screen with CNN, BBC, etc., small chamber of commerce outpost, transportation kiosk interactive that highlights how to get from point A to point B

  • Convenient and economical, connection to airport and regional transportation center

  • Options to multiple methods of transportation from any location (arrive by bike, leave by bus…look outside!)

  • Conduct a parking master plan for hill area and tie design criteria into the master plan

  • Environmentally friendly surfaces and materials for the parking and transit area (Parking lot at Ithaca Farmer’s Market as model)

  • Center of connectivity

  • Curatiba (Brazil) terminal queue and development connections

  • NEV fleet and charging

  • Euro-creto surfaces and/or glassphalt

  • Integrated/connected with SMTC bike map routes

  • Involve all transportation agencies in the planning process to integrate environmental demonstration

  • Glass enclosed (LEED certified) mixed-use facility with wireless/newsstand/coffee shop/gallery space/local business reviews
  • A heated and cooled structure that will enhance lives while waiting for their desired mode of transportation


  • Designed to support multi-stories above garage for offices and residential

  • Needs to be an attraction!! A place where people want to go!!

  • Integrate into local community

  • Facilitate development

  • Follow federal/state processes

  • Safety and security

  • Global aspects – integration of existing processes (ex. canal corridor, special purpose district) etc.

  • Environmental friendly design

  • Universal design so that facility can be used by handicapped and aging community

  • Focus the intermodal facility on its relation to the connective corridor and the university and hospital complex. The site is too small for it to be anything more than that. It is not a replacement for the regional transportation center.

  • Needs to be convenient, should look to connect to all other existing transportation facilities

  • Dependable, reliable transportation alternatives to the car

  • Provide convenient, safe, inexpensive transportation between key parts of city (SU, airport, rail and bus business and public areas like Carousel).

  • Integrate the center with the intermodal transportation center that Centro plans to build downtown.

  • Truly intermodal (bikes (free), pedestrians, buses, taxis, cars). Public participation.

  • Close a roadway between hill and transportation center for bus-bike only.

  • Use of neighborhood electrical vehicles

  • Safety (communication involvement and local people/network display or cultural information.

  • Connection with local large apartment system

  • Aquarium for fun
  • Joint/common parking for all university hill employees with frequent bus service to university hill and exclusive bus lanes and preferential treatment at traffic lights.


  • Inventory of existing parking for SU campus and hospitals and master planning to consolidate existing and future parking needs

  • Interconnectivity with existing intermodal transportation center (train station) and airport.

  • Cruise (bike) way – an 8 foot wide road between elevated train where bikers would cruise, no pedaling, a 5hp motor would carry bikers up and then cruise down. A NAV and bike center with series of pods around town where you can borrow the NAV and bikes for local travel.

  • Bicycle sharing – owned by city, available for use by all. Bicycle friendly streets with bike paths, bike racks at strategic points.

  • Reroute most existing bus lines past this site and the connective corridor buses and have credit and smart cars and smart bikes available for use to go in the metro area. It is also the bus transfer hub for Centro.

  • Encourage use of alternative fuel by providing a discount.

  • Interpretive exhibits

ITF Design Forum, 6/19/06 Page of






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