Senate approves Seneca Lake Scenic Byway

Thomas F. O'Mara

March 28, 2012

Albany, N.Y., March 28—The New York State Senate has unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Senator Tom O’Mara (R-C, Big Flats) and Senator Mike Nozzolio (R-C, Seneca Falls) to designate the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway between Schuyler and Seneca counties as a New York State Scenic Byway.

The designation, which has been sought by community leaders along the 18-mile corridor that follows portions of State Route 414, will strengthen regional tourism and provide numerous other benefits, supporters say.

In a joint statement, O’Mara and Nozzolio said: “This is a state roadway offering some of the most impressive scenic beauty anywhere in New York State.  It will be enhanced as a tourist attraction by this designation.  Including the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway into the New York State Scenic Byway system will bring a range of economic, scenic, recreational, historical, and cultural benefits to many area communities. Tourism is a foundation of the regional economy, and this action will strengthen local tourism. We applaud this local vision for and commitment to the byway, and we’re glad to have the opportunity to support its development.”

Following a nomination by the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway Steering Committee, the designation was recommended by the New York Scenic Scenic Byways Advisory Board in December 2010.

The 18-mile corridor follows portions of New York State Route 414 between the town of Hector in Schuyler County and the Seneca County town of Lodi.

The state Legislature established the Scenic Byways Program nearly two decades ago.  It’s aimed at coordinating and state and local efforts to enhance a region’s scenic, historical, natural, recreational, cultural and archeological resources.  Scenic byways elsewhere in the state have brought local communities numerous benefits, including tourism-related economic growth;  improved traveler and community services; a way to promote regional history and civic pride; greater stewardship and management of natural resources; enhanced roadway signage; and access to federal funding.

The legislation (S.5818/A.8468) is currently in the Assembly Transportation Committee.  It must be approved by the Assembly and signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo before becoming law.