Tear Down the Structural Racism of I-81

Act Now

More than 50 years ago, Interstate 81 ripped through a working-class Black neighborhood in Syracuse. It displaced long-time residents and ensured that poverty, pollution, and a lack of resources would hurt the community that lived in the highway's shadow that still persists today.

Now a portion of I-81 is crumbling and the construction project to replace it could improve housing conditions, health outcomes, and economic and educational opportunity for all people in Syracuse.

Tell the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to right a historic wrong and build a better, more equitable future in Syracuse.

Message Recipients:
David Smith, DOT Regional Director

i81
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More than 50 years ago, Interstate 81 ripped through a working-class Black neighborhood in Syracuse. It displaced long-time residents and ensured that poverty, pollution, and a lack of resources would hurt the community that lived in the highway's shadow that still persists today.

I agree with the New York State Department of Transportation's current preferred option to remove the 1.4 mile stretch of the viaduct and replace it with a street-level grid. However, the plan ignores the history and the current needs of the environmental justice community that lives adjacent to the viaduct that will be demolished.

It doesn't have to be this way. The permanent removal of the viaduct could improve housing conditions, health outcomes, and economic and educational opportunities for all people in Syracuse. In order to do that, the NYSDOT should reflect the following recommendations in its Environmental Impact Statement which will guide the construction project moving forward:

These recommendations will assist the NYSDOT in meeting its own stated goals for the project. These include enhancing economic growth and vitality in the City, re-connecting the Syracuse community, and providing better access to jobs, businesses, and services in downtown Syracuse and beyond.

The recommendations will also help right a historic wrong and create more equitable outcomes for the entire region.

Sincerely,

[First Name] [Last Name]

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