I81 Opinions: We had community grid in 1950s, and it was slow (Your letters)

To the Editor:

I was glad to read Joseph Todisco’s commentary, “Maintaining I-81 is the true investment in downtown Syracuse’s future” (Jan. 9, 2019), advocating the maintaining and improving of Interstate 81 on it’s present path through Syracuse.

I’m old enough to remember Syracuse in the early 1950s, before I-81 ran through our city. We had what amounted to a “community grid” back then. It was a hodgepodge of yield and stop signs and traffic signals at most intersections. In the ’50s, driving through the city was a slow, time-consuming process. To get from my North Side home to tiny Nedrow Air Park, then situated just south of the city where Route 11 joins Route 11-A, took about 45 minutes, sometimes longer, depending on the time-of-day. Today, I can drive from Liverpool to my son’s home in the hills southwest of LaFayette, via I-81, in about 30 minutes — a far greater distance in much less time.

Removing the I-81 viaduct and replacing it with the community grid option would most certainly return Syracuse to the gridlocked 1950s when north-south through-traffic moved at a snail’s pace. For most county residents, the best option is to modernize and update I-81 in it’s present path, allowing rapid through traffic and easy access to all sections of the city. This option should continue to remain under strong consideration.

Don Argus