Rt. 20 Scenic Byway aims for more visibility


The Route 20 Association of New York State unveiled plans for 2011 during the organization’s recent 10th annual meeting and dinner at the Colgate Inn.
Association President Ellen McHale said plans for 2011 will build on the foundation put in place in 2010.
Dr. McHale noted that efforts included a new website and a new road map and guide – both of which created significant visibility for Route 20 this year.
“We are very pleased with the enthusiasm and travel generated by the Association’s work in 2010, especially in these difficult economic times. Our strength comes from businesses and individuals on the Route 20 Scenic Byway and its neighboring corridor communities joining together to form a more singular voice,” she said.
“All of our work in 2011 will be directed toward creating increased visibility and awareness of Route 20 and all the Scenic Byway has to offer. It bears repeating that our strength is in our membership; the larger the base the greater the strength.”
The Association’s 2011 initiatives include:
• Working with NYSDOT for the installation of Scenic Byway signage.
• Assisting with the inauguration and operation of a soon-to-be-built Tourism Center on Route 20 in the Town of Cherry Valley.
• Adding to and enhancing the existing 16 scenic tours off Route 20 depicted on the map and guide.
• Adding races to the Road Challenge Series.
• Strengthening relationships with the counties, towns and villages through which the Byway passes.
• Reaching out to stakeholder groups such as family and senior travelers, cycling enthusiasts, history buffs, antiquers, car clubs, and similar groups.
• Further enhancing the Route 20 website and printing a newly formatted 2011 Scenic Byway Guide and Road Map.
• Communicating Association initiatives and progress through the creation of a speakers bureau, regular newsletters and press releases and more frequent digital communications, including social media outlets.
In other business the membership present approved the adoption of a revised mission statement and elected two new members to serve three-year terms on the Association Board of Directors.
They are:
• H. Alan Smith, a Route 20 resident from the Town of Pompey (Onondaga County), a retired Episcopalian clergyman and an avid cyclist.
• Ted Bartlett from the Village of Cazenovia (Madison County).
Mr. Bartlett is a senior associate and award-winning senior preservation planner for the architecture firm of Crawford and Steams in Syracuse, and chairman of the Cazenovia Historical Preservation Architectural Advisory Review Committee.
Concluding the meeting was a presentation by Michael Bosak, president of the Landmark Society of Greater Utica, entitled, “The Importance of Historic Preservation for the Route 20 Scenic Byway Corridor.”
His presentation focused on historic preservation and restoration in Utica. He also emphasized the importance of preserving historic and significant structures as well as vistas and viewscapes along Route 20.
Mr. Bosak noted that Route 20 remains the straightest, shortest and most direct route across New York State, even though it has largely been passed by since the opening of the NYS Thruway in 1956.
He said the greatest risk comes from historic and significant structures falling into disrepair due to the lack of financial resources and vistas and viewscapes being destroyed by modernization and new development.
He applauded the Association for its work in securing Scenic Byway status and working to draw attention to the importance Route 20 played in the westward expansion of the country.