This section of the report attempts to portray an accurate image of environmental awareness and sustainable planning in Onondaga County, as well as our community’s progress towards promoting environmentally friendly practices. This section also examines several indicators of mobility and transportation services found in Onondaga County and Syracuse compared to the same services found in New York State and the United States.
Syracuse has become known as an environmentally conscious, sustainable city through efforts towards increasing use of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) buildings, innovations from Syracuse University and SUNY Environmental Science and Forestry and area environmental firms. Not only is the Emerald City going green by incorporating more environmentally-friendly projects into policy and everyday life, but also by celebrating decades of environmental innovation in the city.
The joint Syracuse-Onondaga County Planning Agency (SOCPA) is currently hard at work on a sustainable development plan for the County, with a significant amount of citizen participation in the process. Additionally, there have been major efforts by the community to move forward with the cleanup and development of Onondaga Lake.
Onondaga County is conveniently located at the intersection of Interstate 81 and the NYS Thruway. The Hancock International Airport and the William F. Walsh Regional Transportation Center are important transportation hubs. The average round-trip and one way domestic airfares at Hancock International Airport are significantly more expensive than nearby airports such as Buffalo and Rochester.
The Central New York Regional Transportation Authority’s CENTRO bus system is a widely used source of public transportation for county residents. One of the prominent initiatives in Onondaga County is the introduction of diesel-electric buses into the CENTRO fleet. Over the next several years, CENTRO plans to switch the entire fleet over to hybrid clean air technology. The number of CENTRO passenger trips has increased 35% from 2005 to 2008 compared to a slight 1% increase in registered and licensed drivers in Onondaga County.