Future for Route 81 through Syracuse: Matt's Memo

Wouldnâ??t it be something if the greater Syracuse community reached a consensus about the best option for the future of Route 81 through downtown, but there wasnâ??t any money available to get the job done? Thatâ??s a possibility floated in a story by our Jim Kenyon tonight.

All of those public comment sessions, the years of planning that have already transpired and the many more years of planning to come could end with a fine tuned document that does not get off the shelf because the federal government cannot offer a pool of funding to tear down and rebuild the bisecting interstate that sliced through the heart of our aging city some fifty years ago.

It does not come as a surprise that our leaders in Washington canâ??t reach an agreement on the latest version of a multi-billion dollar Transportation Bill. It seems easier to develop consensus on a local level on what to do than it is to get democrats and republicans to reach agreement in our nationâ??s capital.

Itâ??s a once in a lifetime proposition for a city to have a chance to change the way it looks, the way it moves people from one side of town to the other. One of the leaders of the movement to tear down 81 is Common Council President Van Robinson. He told Jim today that a boulevard style highway could go a long way to healing old wounds in Syracuse that were opened when communities were leveled and divided by the new highway.

For those who are old enough to remember that is a heart warming idea, but looking forward itâ??s even more important that the center point of Central New York creating a new urban vision with clear sight lines and options for travelers passing through to stop and enjoy what Syracuse has to offer.

But, without the money â?? the vision will only be that.

Any questions or comment please forward them to I may even use some of your thoughts on NBC 3 News at 5:00, the 10:00 News on CW6 or on

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