Near West Side

Ellen Abbott / WRVO News

As the city of Syracuse moves ahead with one of its biggest transportation projects in decades with the redesign of Interstate 81, a small project on the city’s west side provides a glimpse into how the community can work together, when confronting a transportation problem. 

Neighbors have a name for the highway that divides downtown Syracuse from neighborhoods on the city’s west side.

“West Street used to be referred to as the ‘nine lanes of fury,’” said Maarten Jacobs, of the Near Westside Initiative.

Ellen Abbott / WRVO file photo

A program to encourage healthy living in one of Syracuse’s most low income neighborhoods is getting a big funding push.

The New York State Health Foundation is giving the Lerner Center at Syracuse University a quarter million dollars to expand its healthy eating and exercise program on the city’s Near West Side. The Lerner Center is working with Nojaims Supermarket and the fairly new St. Joseph’s hospital health clinic that’s right next door.

dougtone / via Flickr

Changes are coming to Syracuse’s West Street artery to make the roadway more pedestrian friendly and less of a barrier for the Near Westside neighborhood.

West Street was built in the middle of the last century, as Interstate 81 was paving through the city, as a way to move cars more easily. It’s six lanes wide and not pedestrian friendly, but many west side residents have to cross the street to get downtown or to the grocery store.

The Near Westside Initiative, a community advocacy group has been working with the state transportation department on a redesign.