State Legislature okays designation of Seneca Lake Scenic Byway

Thomas F. O'Mara

June 05, 2012

Albany, N.Y., June 5—New York State Senator Tom O'Mara (R-C, Big Flats) joined Senator Mike Nozzolio (R-C, Seneca Falls) and Assembly Minority Leader Brian Kolb (R,I,C-Canandaigua) to announce that the Legislature has given final approval to legislation they sponsor to designate the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway between Schuyler and Seneca counties as a New York State Scenic Byway.

The Senate approved the legislation in late March.  It was given final legislative approval late yesterday by the Assembly, where it was also cosponsored by Assemblymen Phil Palmesano (R-C, Corning) and Chris Friend (R-Big Flats).

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.

O’Mara 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.  We applaud this local vision and long-standing commitment to the byway.”

Leader Kolb said: "The only thing better than the Finger Lakes in the winter and spring, is the Finger Lakes in the summer and fall.  We are fortunate to live in a region that is terrific for all seasons.  One of our community's greatest assets, besides its people, is the impressive scenic splendor and regional charm which makes it a must-visit tourist attraction.  Whether it's the Finger Lakes award winning wines and wineries, or the many local opportunities for fine dining and entertainment, our region literally has it all.  This Scenic Byway designation reflects these attributes and will help us better promote our region as the premier destination for tourism, culture and commerce."

Nozzolio said: “Including the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway in the New York State Scenic Byway system will bring a number of job development, scenic, recreational, historical, and cultural benefits to many of our local communities. This measure is important to strengthening local tourism, which is a foundation of our region’s economy.  It was a pleasure working to support this designation and I encourage Governor Cuomo to sign it into law.”

Palmesano said: “I’m glad to have this opportunity to support the designation of the Seneca Lake Scenic Byway.  It’s the product of a lot of hard work and perseverance by many local residents and leaders, and it’s a real victory for regional tourism.”

Friend said: “This designation will put in place another powerful tool to help showcase outstanding regional attractions and boost local tourism in important and meaningful ways.  The Seneca Lake Scenic Byway will be a great addition to tourism in New York State.”      

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) must be signed by Governor Andrew Cuomo before becoming law.