Carrier Dome traffic can only get worse with I-81 community grid (Your letters)

To the Editor:

Regarding “Will Carrier Dome traffic get worse with new I-81? Think sieve not funnel, state says” (May 3, 2019):

I find it disingenuous that Interstate 81 project director Mark Frechette and the New York State Department of Transportation are purporting the new community grid will be better for Carrier Dome large event traffic. This is pure speculation and not based on any fact. I have spoken directly to the DOT traffic engineers at some of the public meetings about this topic. They and Frechette, in the article, concede they have done no such studies on the mass ingress and egress for the capacity crowds of football, basketball or concerts; the latter of the two can overlap with evening the rush hour. In discussing this detail with the engineers, they have been ignoring some key items that need to be modeled.

If you look at where there is traffic and why police are needed today, it’s to get the thousands of the vehicles coming to or from the University Hill area through intersections. The constraint isn’t I-81, it’s the existing grid. The new plan adds multiple new intersections in the mix, will cause further delay, and will require additional police traffic detail. If you look at Dome-related traffic today, there are backups in intersections and blocks not even related to I-81 or the flow to or from them. The new proposed I-690 Crouse/Irving interchange will get the brunt of the traffic as now those traveling north, east and west will be focused in that area. From the Stadium Lot today, there are four intersections requiring police between the lot and the I-81 Northbound on-ramp. There are 12 to 14 under the new plan and I-690 and BL-81 North, depending on how the new interchange is designed and implemented. The new plan hasn’t been proven that it’ll be faster. In fact, the standard “peak” / rush hour models they ran suggest it will be longer for most.

Syracuse University has publicly stated they are in favor of the grid option. Are they willing to pay more for the traffic detail for that privilege? Have they studied the implications of their decision outside of the real estate land grab that will become of the land under I-81 that will not be tax revenue generating if they, and other nonprofits like Upstate, buy it? It’s great these institutions have an opinion, but they aren’t paying the freight of taxes in this city.

Alan W. Jurison