Save81.Org Urges Community to Voice Boulevard Concerns at Today’s I-81 Scoping Meeting

For Immediate Release: November 13, 2013
Contact: Mark Nicotra, (315) 313-5765, [email protected]

DOT Hearing Follows New Poll Finding Overwhelming Opposition Against Boulevard

SYRACUSE, N.Y. – With the state Department of Transportation hosting a scoping meeting regarding the Interstate 81 project today, spokesman and Salina Town Supervisor Mark Nicotra issued the following statement:

“Today’s hearing is a critical opportunity for all of us to play a role in shaping the future of our region’s infrastructure, and we’re hoping for a big community turnout. believes that a boulevard plan for I-81 would have enormous negative effects for our city and surrounding towns and villages, and as our recent polling has shown, the overwhelming majority of area residents agree. We need to ensure that decision-makers hear our concerns about a boulevard and focus on other options that will better serve our community.”

Earlier this week, released a poll finding that City of Syracuse and Onondaga County voters are overwhelmingly opposed to replacing I-81 with a boulevard in Downtown Syracuse. The poll found that 55 percent of voters said they prefer retaining I-81 in its current designation as a highway through Syracuse. By contrast, only 18 percent of voters said they support rerouting I-81 and constructing a boulevard in its place.

Syracuse residents were as opposed to the boulevard as the rest of Onondaga County. Overall, only 19 percent of city residents favored a boulevard, compared with 18 percent in the rest of the county. Once voters were briefed on the issue, they expressed particular concern that building a boulevard will cause staggering traffic congestion in Syracuse and hurt emergency response times throughout the region. More information about the poll is available at also released a letter that engineering firm Maser Consulting wrote on its behalf that argues that a boulevard option “should be eliminated from consideration because on its face it fails to meet the purposes, goals and objectives of the Project and will not meet Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) standards for an interstate highway.”

The letter will be included in’s formal submission to the state Department of Transportation as part of the public comment period of the environmental review process and can be viewed on

About is a diverse coalition of concerned residents, elected officials, employers, union members, and community groups that have come together as officials in Albany determine how to deal with the aging portions of I-81 in our area. opposes a plan being considered to replace I-81 in Downtown Syracuse with a boulevard that would divert Interstate traffic away from the City and leave traffic congestion and air pollution in its place.

For more information, visit