Making The Save81.Org Position Clear

As a group of concerned citizens that is just entering the Interstate 81 discussion, it’s understandable that some in the community may not be exactly clear on where we stand.

For example, in an editorial yesterday morning, The Post-Standard suggests that is only interested in preserving the Interstate 81 elevated highway running through Downtown Syracuse. Here’s what the paper wrote:

There’s a new group in town whose mission is to “Save 81.” By save, they mean preserve Interstate 81 as an elevated highway in its current footprint.

To clarify: does not simply support preserving Interstate 81 as an elevated highway in Downtown Syracuse. In fact, we think there are a number of potentially good ideas that have been discussed during this process and that state officials should keep them on the table going forward. believes that state officials must choose a plan to rehabilitate the aging portions of I-81 in our region that maintains I-81’s designation as an Interstate Highway through Syracuse and does not re-route the highway away from the city.

And as our website states, we believe there are numerous options that could accomplish this goal, including a tunnel, depressed roadway, an iconic bridge into the city or a rebuilt elevated highway.

Or perhaps the best plan for the highway has yet to even be proposed, which is why a robust community discussion about the future of I-81 must continue. has not endorsed any one plan for dealing with I-81. However, we do oppose the plan to replace I-81 with a boulevard and re-route traffic away from the city because of its potential negative effects on the region’s economy, traffic, public safety and quality of life.

The charter members of represent a diverse and wide array of interests, including business owners, union members and community groups from throughout the region. And so far, the community has overwhelmingly responded to our message. More than 1,000 Central New Yorkers have already signed our petition in support of preserving I-81 and opposing a boulevard.

We will continue to organize these voices to ensure that officials in Albany hear their concerns about replacing I-81 with a boulevard in Downtown Syracuse. This decision is critical to the future of Central New York, and it’s vital that all voices are heard in this discussion.