Tell your elected representatives that the Community Grid is the best option to replace the I-81 viaduct.
2017 will be an important year of decision-making and now is the time to raise your voice and actively contribute to the decision-making for our region.
We need your help. While many of us have communicated our beliefs, concerns and questions to the New York Department of Transportation through the I-81 Opportunities process, our Local, State and Federal Representatives have not benefited from this same information and therefore are not hearing the high level of support that exists for the Community Grid replacement alternative.
Together, we can educate our elected officials on why the Community Grid is the best option for our community and how it will ensure our regional prosperity. Take five minutes to make a phone call and — if you have time — also write an email to your representative(s) telling them why the Community Grid is in your best interest. If you can, share a personal anecdote about how this project will impact you. Please make the call now. Your five-minute investment of time today can have a significant impact on our community for decades to come.
We’ve included email addresses and office phone numbers below for many elected officials. When you send your email, make sure to cc: Mark Frechette (I81Opportunities@dot.ny.gov), the NYS DOT I-81 Project Director. ReThink81 is also collecting names of advocates for the Community Grid. Please feel free to BCC or forward your email to us at firstname.lastname@example.org so we know how many emails have been sent.
To get you started, here are a few of the top reasons we believe the Community Grid is the best alternative for our region:
- The Community Grid minimizes unnecessary disruptions to businesses and residents. The Community Grid option is estimated to require two years for construction; the recently re-proposed tunnel option would require a minimum of seven to ten years. An incredible number of underground utilities would have to be relocated to accommodate a tunnel or depressed highway through the center of the city.
- The Community Grid will improve travel options for residents and commuters while providing increased accessibility to places like Downtown Syracuse, University Hill, and the Carrier Dome. The DOT’s extensive computer modeling found there would be no significant difference between regional travel times with the Community Grid compared to a bigger wider viaduct.
- The Community Grid is the least costly to maintain moving forward. Think about our children’s generation….in a society where car ridership is declining and people are moving to more walkable urban environments, do we really want to saddle the next generation with the ongoing financial burden of maintaining a tunnel with its pumps and filters to continually remove ground water, and its ventilation system to prevent the buildup of dangerous gases.
- The Community Grid lays the foundation for future growth and NEW revenue for the region. The Community Grid involves the least property takings, demolitions and relocation of residents. It would also free up ten or more acres for new development in the center of the city.
Here are some articles you might find useful:
- Post Standard: The choice to replace I-81 now seems obvious
- Post-Standard: State DOT rejected tunnel options for good reasons
- Post-Standard: I-81 in Syracuse on ‘Top 10’ list for highways that ought to go
- Atlantic Magazine: How to Decimate a City
- Atlantic Magazine: Highways Destroyed American Cities
- Popular Mechanics: Removing Urban Freeways Gains Fresh Traction
- Gizmodo: Six Freeway Removals That Changed Their Cities Forever
Please take five minutes. Make the phone call and send a note. It will have an impact. Our elected representatives need to hear why this matters to us and now is the time to make our voices heard.
Elected Officials Information
NYS Senator John A. DeFrancisco (50th District)
c/o Regional Director John McBride
NYS Senator David J. Valesky (53rd District)
c/o Regional Director Scott Butler
NYS Assemblyman Al Stirpe (127th District)
c/o Regional Director Drew Davis
NYS Assemblywoman Pamela J. Hunter (128th District)
c/o Regional Director Lisa Sacco
NYS Assemblyman William B. Magnarelli (129th District)
c/o Christine Slocum
US Senator Charles E. Schumer
c/o Regional Director Angelo Roefaro
US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand
c/o Regional Director Jarred Jones
US Congressman John Katko
c/o Regional Director Patricia Dellonte
Onondaga County Legislature, Chairman Ryan McMahon
Syracuse Common Council, President Van Robinson
NYSDOT 81 Project Manager, Mark Frechette (via project email address)