Thoughts on the Destiny USA R&D Park
7/06/2005 04:19:00 PM | Author: baloghblog
I was thinking today about how the folks that are running the Destiny USA project in Syracuse have put a lot of emphasis on how the R&D park and the Destiny USA Resort will both be built with sustainable design, and powered by renewable resources.
The R&D Park is anchored by the one million square foot Signature Building with an arch spanning more than 150 feet above Interstate 81 and Interstate 90 where more than 150,000 cars pass on a daily basis. Like the balance of the R&D Park, the Signature Building will be built using sustainable design standards, powered 100% by renewable energy and operated using state-of-the-art technology and the best in environmentally friendly practices. The facility willhave an iconic presence in the Upstate New York skyline.
What I don't hear much about is how the hundreds (thousands?) of people that work there will be able to get to work without using a tremendous amount of gasoline. There is a section in their press release:
A transportation network that includes monorail and a Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system will connect the complex to Hancock International Airport, theInter-Modal Transportation Center, DestiNY USA and beyond.
"...and beyond" is meant to imply that there will be public transporation that will bring people to the site. At the current rate of use of Centro (6%), that means that 94% of their workers will still use their cars with gasoline burning engines to get to and from work.

What is my point, you ask? It seems to me that the noble idea to create a space using sustainable methods, and powered by renewable sources is negated by having hundreds of cars driving there from around the region.

I hope that the Destiny planners can incorporate public transportation as a vital part of their planning and development. Beyond the Regional Transporation Center, and all it's glory, that is.

My 2 cents:
  • Consider light rail transportation to park and ride areas dispersed throughout the region. You can clearly see the rail tracks on the Google Map of the northern area of the city where the project is planned for. These tracks run to the east and west suburbs, as well as the North Country and Tully Area, along mostly undeveloped routes.
  • Dissuade workers from driving to work using cars solely powered by gasoline, and add incentive for cars run on bio-diesel, and hybrid engines. Such as preferred parking, etc. (hell, it works in union run factories... the imports get 2 rows in the far lot)
  • Consider an employee purchase plan for electric or plug-in hybrids, and provide places to "power-up" the cars with renewable energy at work during the day.
  • Incentives for taking public transportation or car pooling.
Just some off my thoughts on the project. Any others?

UPDATED to include others discussing Destiny USA:
Joel Makower: Destiny's High Wire Act
World Changing: Eco-Mall of the Future. Well sort of...
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On 4:41 PM , Ken Avidor said...

You're right about how silly DestiNY's sustainability claims are. Anytime you hear "PRT", the taxpayers should grab their wallets.

New PRT-skeptic blog - News Tips and Comments Welcome!

Learn more about PRT at the PRT is a Joke web site.

On 5:05 PM , David Gow said...

Learn the facts about PRT!

Then learn about Ken: