Saturday, November 21, 2015

Atlantic: Syracuse's Love-Hate Relationship with its Interstate

    Sometimes the impact of decisions cannot be ascertained for decades, but planning decisions made in Syracuse are getting a serious review now, nearly sixty years after the stampede to use federal highway funds to clearcut a swath throught the city to make way for Interstate 81.
     Of course in the run up to urban renewal and accomodating the automobile age, it made sense to do so and maybe it did and maybe the white flight and neighborhood decay would have happened anyway.
      Now, with the highway's useful life expiring there is talk of other ways to accomodate the road, as a tunnel or an on-grade boulevard.
     This article in The Atlantic is a good read and a reminder of the impact decisions have both good and bad.
      The path of I-81 was surely debated here in the 1960s and the decisions made certainly had impacts not fully understood at the time.


Anonymous said...

Urban renewal was and is a good thing. It gets a bad rap from revisionist p;d-building huggers. If the COW had the foresight to put the interstate through the center of Garland city, the town of Watertown would not have a monopoly on retail business like they do today.
The cities cause their own demise and force urban sprawl by passing laws which make it uneconomical and unappetizing to refurbish in the city. Be it forcing homeowners to tear down perfectly good looking fences, or misinterpreting the code governing wood burning pizza ovens and what "manufactured" means, or requiring plumbers to demonstrate ability to pour liquid lead into a cast iron joint (a technique that went out of style in the 50's). And instead of making things better, you make things worse by adding oversight of roofing and heating to the code Nazi empire.

At the end of the day, its like you always say... The world is run by the people who show up. And that means the vocal minority who favor dumb ideas, such as changing I81, will have undue influence.

Anonymous said...

6:43, I-81 cutting through the center of Syracuse has made that city the slum capital of the entire nation. But look at all the great shopping! Right? Too bad 40% of Syracuse residents don't have money.

Maybe Watertown will re-rout I-81... Right over your house.

Anonymous said...

If there wasn't an interstate allowing people access to downtown, they would have no jobs there. And let's ask the Atlantic outsiders who Erie Blvd affected Syracuse. That's so obvious who's on the wrong side of the tracks related to the blvd.