Development potential of I-81 community grid is ‘wishful thinking’ (Your letters)

To the Editor:

Once again, this newspaper and groups of developers and architects are lauding the development potential and subsequent tax income by releasing valuable land beneath the viaduct with the community grid option to replace Interstate 81 (“Developers: Growth of Syracuse, region depends on community grid,” Nov. 14, 2018, “Landscape architects group: We support I-81 community grid,” Dec. 12, 2018). All wishful thinking!

No development ensued after Kennedy Square was razed. The lone building erected on the land was a tax-exempt SUNY Upstate Medical Center building. When the Syracuse Inner Harbor came up for development by the city after years of inaction, only one creditable developer came forth.

Did you experience the gridlock following the Syracuse University-Louisville football game? With the community grid, that will be the new normal for downtown. Unless there is an event of the order of that football game, people will choose different venues for dining and entertainment in order to avoid gridlock and parking headaches. The New York State Fair is becoming a year-round destination and the amphitheater is up along Lake Onondaga. We could expect more dining establishments outside downtown in the years to come.

My final point: I-81 is the most beautiful route through the city and allows people to see Syracuse in its entirety.

Gloria W. Sage