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Zip Fest marks beginning of phase two of the Connective Corridor

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Zip Fest marks beginning of phase two of the Connective Corridor
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The Connective Corridor is aimed at making travel between the Syracuse University Hill and Downtown Syracuse easier. Phase two of construction begins Monday. Our Sarah Blazonis stopped by a kick-off celebration and talked to organizers about the results they've seen so far.


SYRACUSE, N.Y. -- It's not the normal mode of transportation along Syracuse's Connective Corridor, but a free zip line ride was one way the community got to mark the beginning of the second phase of the project.

For some students the Connective Corridor has been their life line when it comes to getting off the hill.

"I use the Connective Corridor almost everyday for my class at the Warehouse," said Syracuse University Sophomore Devon Huck.

"My favorite place is to get half price sushi at a sushi joint in Armory Square, and if it's a friend's birthday, we'll go downtown to get dinner at Pastabilities," said Laura Wright, a second year industrial design student at SU.

Construction on phase two is going to begin where the green bike lanes end at the corner of E. Genesee St. and Forman Ave. Organizers say it's going to extend the corridor, and hopefully student presence, further downtown.

"The first year we operated the Connective Corridor buses, we had 6,000 riders. This year we had 190,000 riders. That tells you something about the number of students coming downtown," said Linda Hartsock, Connective Corridor Director for the SU Office of Community Engagement and Economic Development.

And many are leaving their mark while there. Officials say more than 900 students have taken part in downtown related projects through work with the Connective Corridor.

"It's a great way to expose them to the city while they're here, and that leads, hopefully, to internships and co-ops and that hopefully leads to employment opportunities, it then leads to them starting lives and careers here," said Hartsock.

Students who came out to Zip Fest, a celebration kicking off phase two, do have suggestions for improvements when it comes to bus schedules.

"It could definitely be a little more frequent. Like, today, they only run every hour and a half, so I'll probably be walking down to the Warehouse," said Huck.

But many said they're looking forward to taking that next ride downtown.

The second phase of the Connective Corridor Project will include many of the same features as the first. Bike lanes and sidewalk improvements are some of the changes people will notice once work begins.

Phases two and three of the project will stretch from Forman Park to the SU Warehouse Downtown.

Work is expected to wrap up in about two years.

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