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Find out what we...

On May 9, 2012, the SMTC and the NYSDOT hosted a public meeting for The I-81 Challenge. Over 480 people participated in the in-person public meeting, and over 250 people participated in the virtual meeting through the project website. The feedback and key findings from this public meeting have been summarized in the May 2012 Public Meeting Summary Report, now available on the project website. At the public meeting, participants were able to review materials from the f...

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Thank you for...

Thank you to everyone who participated in the public meeting for The I-81 Challenge on May 9th. Nearly 500 members of the Central New York community joined us to provide comments, concerns, and ideas about the future of I-81. If you were unable to attend, you can still participate online with our virtual meeting. The virtual meeting is designed to replicate the in-person meeting, and it is open 24/7. You’ll find the same opportunities for comments and interactiv...

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White Paper...

The Public Participation Program for The I-81 Challenge has allowed us to gather feedback from the public through: - Meetings with the three committees involved in The I-81 Challenge - The Study Advisory Committee - The Community Liaison Committee - The Municipal Liaison Committee - Focus groups - Two questionnaires - First series of public workshops - Outreach to populations with Limited English Proficiency - Small group community meetings How does all this input fit...

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NYSDOT recently published a draft of the first major technical document of The I-81 Challenge, Tech Memorandum #1: Physical Conditions Analysis (Tech Memo #1).  Tech Memo #1 documents existing physical conditions in the I-81 corridor.  In addition, the memo provides social, economic and environmental context for The I-81 Challenge.  To read blog posts highlighting major findings from Tech Memo #1, click here.

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NYSDOT’s draft Technical Memorandum #1: Physical Conditions Analysis (Tech Memo #1) found that Centro’s core ridership is made up of transit dependent markets such as densely populated and low-income neighborhoods, Syracuse University and health care institutions.

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If you’ve been keeping up with The I-81 Challenge in the news and on our website, then you know that our community has some exciting (and challenging) decisions to make about the future of I-81. You also may have heard that the ultimate decision about this project is years away, and that actual construction will not begin for quite some time. So, why does the process of making decisions about a project like this take so long? What will be going »

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All options for the future of I-81 are currently on the table. Over the next several years, The I-81 Challenge will advance community discussion about I-81’s future. We’ve started by collecting information about the existing conditions of the highway and the regional transportation system, but that’s as far as we’ve gone. Next we’ll be reaching out to the community via workshops, small group meetings, and questionnaires to gain a better »

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Study Areas

The primary study area for The I-81 Challenge is focused on I-81 from I-481 on the south to I-481 on the north along with the segment of I-690 from the West Street Interchange to the Teall Avenue Interchange. The overall study area for purposes of public participation and traffic modeling expands to cover the Syracuse Metropolitan Transportation Council (SMTC) Metropolitan Planning Area (MPA), which includes all of Onondaga County and small portions »

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Pedestrian count data were collected in a focused area along the viaduct during November and December 2009 and February and March 2010. Within this area the combined peak hour total pedestrian counts were greater than 500.

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Freeways have been constructed through the downtowns of many cities across the United States. Many of these highways were constructed in the 1960s or 1970s, and were intended to ensure economic viability in an era when suburban growth, along with car ownership and use, was accelerating. It was feared that without the direct connections that highways provided, cities would die. At the time, there were differing opinions about the decisions to locate »

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We want to remind interested community organizations that the deadline for submitting an application for The I-81 Challenge’s Community Liaison Committee (CLC) is January 31 at 4:00 p.m. You can apply online here or request a hard-copy application by calling the SMTC at 422-5716 or e-mailing contactus@theI81challenge.org. The target size for the CLC is 40 members.  If more than 40 applications are received, the SMTC and NYSDOT, with input from »

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I-81 was built in Central New York during the 1950s and 1960s for two main reasons: to carry through traffic between Pennsylvania and Canada and to bring local traffic in and out of Syracuse. The highway was the product of a vigorous federal road-building program that included the construction of many miles of interstate highways in every state across the country. The idea of the proposed highway, particularly through downtown Syracuse, was controversial. »

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