2019 is off to a great start for Save 81!

In February, Representative John Katko is holding a series of town halls throughout Onondaga County to encourage a community discussion about the replacement of Interstate 81. The first town hall was held in the City of Auburn, and Save 81 supporters came out to show how this decision impacts not only the City of Syracuse, but every town and village that relies on Interstate 81.

The second town hall will be held on Saturday, February 9 at 10 a.m. at the: St. Matthew’s School Gymnasium (214 Kinne Street in East Syracuse). Are you planning to attend? Make sure to arrive early and submit your audience question for Congressman Katko! And check out our Facebook page for information about the other upcoming town halls!

In other news, supervisors from every town in Onondaga County came together last month to show the community consensus when they shared their support for a hybrid solution to replace Interstate 81.

Damain Ulatowski, town of Clay supervisor, showed how a hybrid option is the consensus solution when discussing the issue with the Post-Standard:

“What is less known and perhaps more significant is that supervisors that comprise every town in Onondaga County are all in support of an option other than the ‘community grid.”

Kerry Mannion, town of Dewitt deputy supervisor, called for all Central New Yorkers to have a voice when he told WROV:

“It’s about time the majority of the folks in central New York be heard; their opposition to a grid-only solution, because the grid-only solution works for a very select few.”

And Mark Venesky, town of Cicero supervisor, continued to be a voice for residents of the city’s suburbs as he told Spectrum News:

“We believe in a strong City of Syracuse. We believe that we either swim together or we sink together, but you can’t short change the thousands of residents in the suburbs.”

Elsewhere in Onondaga County, the Dewitt Town Board also came out strongly against the community grid replacement for Syracuse’s aging Interstate 81 viaduct, instead favoring the consensus high-speed solution that moves all of Central New York forward. The board released a statement to the Daily Orange:

“It is apparent that there is a clear majority consensus in Central New York: Interstate 81 must not be diverted and must continue along its current path.” 

Meanwhile, Assemblyman Syracuse’s William Magnarelli, the new chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, reiterated his support for maintaining high-speed access into and through Syracuse via Interstate 81, as he told WCNY’s The Capitol Pressroom:

“I represent three-quarters of the city of Syracuse … the community grid is going to wreak havoc with their lives everyday. There is no one that can tell me in a reasonable way how putting 35,000+ cars on the city streets in the morning and in the afternoon is not going to create more congestion within the community grid.”

And voices from the downtown business community continue to flood inboxes, as well.

Joseph Todisco, owner of the Miss Syracuse Diner, wrote in the Post-Standard:

“As a downtown business owner who each day welcomes city residents, suburban commuters and out-of-town visitors, I know that in order for our downtown to continue to flourish, the city needs to maintain the high-speed connectivity of Interstate 81. Destroying this vital artery in favor of gridlocked streets will only serve to send us backward.”