(Photo by NYSDOT)
To the editor:
Does the massaging and sanitizing of the Route 81 grid option influence opinions, paving the way to a predetermined conclusion?
The debate we are having is not yet history but if left in the hands of the city and those on the side of a grid-only option then we are playing to those who support a parochial solution and a media that communicates that single position. Are we, therefore, allowing the steadfast to inflate the message by allowing those with the loudest voices to pollute the Central New York community with intense sound bites?
But wait, perhaps the “Save 81” and hybrid advocates have gotten the attention of the grid proponents since, as of last week, the grid option morphed into a “grid plus.” (See CenterState CEO’s website: “Community Grid Plus: 10 Points of Enhancement”).
The grid was supposed to address the city of Syracuse’s lack of progress by healing the scars left on the 15th Ward and, opening up land on either side of the grid to new development, by creating an all-encompassing boulevard that is inviting and provides easy access to the heart of the city. Is their vision evolving and do the grid proponents now recognize the concerns of the surrounding community or is it an attempt to pacify a growing consciousness?
As a Central New York community, we cannot succeed nor can our residents prevail over our differences and come together, if a grid is the only option that is being trumpeted. There is division where there should be compromise, so we should take pause and ponder what the true grid message is, as we are now being asked to focus on a new “grid plus” option with no mention of its cost. Additionally, mitigation funds are being advanced with no mention of how long they will last or where the funds for any mitigation will come from. At the same time it is claimed that the “grid plus” expense is still the same $1.3 billion cost advanced by the grid. Let’s deal with the facts as the truth behind them — not the interpretation of those facts — is what is critical, because much has been lost and much more has changed in the 10-year journey we have taken leading up to today.
Let’s consider a hybrid option, for by definition it is an amalgam or mixture, and as for Route 81, elements offering different options. Isn’t that what the real solution for Route 81 should be? An option providing the city with the grid footprint they need to launch them into the future along with a tunnel pathway for Central New Yorkers to easily move through our city without being choked by pollution and congestion.
Just because hybrid supporters don’t agree with a grid-only or “grid plus” option doesn’t mean that our position is not valid and should be shuttered. Don’t we all deserve a “grid plus?” A grid plus a tunnel!
Clay Town Supervisor