At first there’s excitement at the prospect of having a day at the Great New York State Fair especially after the states’ investment of well over 100 million in recreating the fairgrounds. The expanded Mid-Way, the new areas spaced where it was easier to get around and see all of the attractions. The St. Joseph’s Healthcare Amphitheater has attracted acts that would never come here, the bands come our hotels and eateries fill. Unfortunately, with growth you have problems, more people more traffic, more traffic jams. Getting to and from the fairgrounds needs to be a priority moving forward. It’s like going to enjoy the day and end up spending more time waiting on a highway than having fun at the fair.
We have rail that could be used to connect the fairgrounds with the Walsh Transportation Hub, downtown and Syracuse University. Failure to tackle this problem can cause people to rethink their attendance. In addition, tying in the fairgrounds with a comprehensive transportation plan would be true economic development.
We create venues that are difficult to access, buses that run so infrequently that it takes 4 hours to run errands if you’re waiting on that bus.
Economic Development also has to involve how are we going to get all of those people into 315 acres creating the 6th largest city for a few weeks in late August. Imagine if we connected the dots?
Connect our major entertainment venues with a modern system of buses, trains and whatever it takes to move us forward. Failure to address our transportation issues can possibly undo the millions invested around Onondaga Lake and the fairgrounds. We are still moving people in and out of a modernized fairground with methods not changed since the Ford Model T.
If we’re going to invest in the fairgrounds think about the family waiting in a car for 2 hours, or the concert goer who’s flown in for a concert only to be caught up in a transit nightmare. If we want people to utilize our facilities, we need to be better at creating a positive experience that begins well before you get to the main gate.