Official Submission to the DOT

The New York State DOT has said of the I-81 project that it is committed to an “open, participatory” process. They have also stated that “the public and agency participation efforts for this project have been developed in compliance with legislation and policies that guide public involvement in project development, including NEPA, SEQRA, the National Historic Preservation Act, FWHA procedures regarding environmental justice and the Title VI of the Civil Rights Act, and other pertinent federal and state regulations.”

Pursuant to these regulations, the DOT holds itself legally responsible to review all officially submitted comments from the public made during the time of the Scoping Period leading up to September 2, 2014. The Scoping Period establishes the framework for the environmental review, and relies on the input of the public as well as experts in relevant fields to decide which I-81 alternatives will be further studied going into the next phase of the project.

For our official comment submission to the DOT, compiled a number of documents highlighting research that our organization believes is relevant to the public discourse surrounding the project and the building consensus that the interstate must be preserved in its current designation and route. These documents include:

  • a letter to the NYSDOT and FHWA detailing the stakeholders’ evaluation of the I-81 project thusfar; 
  • a letter to the NYSDOT and FHWA detailing the’s Access Syracuse Plan, including:
    • a description of the Access Syracuse Plan and its modified version,
    • a map of the Access Syracuse Plan,
    • an outline considering the “Reasonable/Pass” standard for each element of the Access Syracuse Plan based on criteria outlined in the Draft Scoping Report;
  • a traffic analysis report developed by Maser Consulting, P.A. detailing the problems inherent in a boulevard alternative in the specific case of Syracuse and Central New York;
  • a letter to NYSDOT Commissioner McDonald signed by NYS Senators and Assembly Members asking the DOT to commit to further study of the Access Syracuse Plan;
  • 4 op-eds from community members published on

For the full Appendix to’s letter to the DOT, also containing’s January 2014 official submission to the DOT, click here