Each week, I will break down parts of the AIACNY Urban Design Study of the 1-81 Project. Here is an opportunity for you to see, in a clear and concise fashion, how the decision that lies ahead could change the city for better or for worse.
AIACNY put together an “I-81 Task Force” to analyze all recommendations on a physical, local and economic level. The result was this study that we previewed last week. The task force believes that a few key issues issues not addressed by NYSDOT are vital to making an informed decision in the future. These issues include:
- No construction duration schedules, delays and business impact information has been provided for any of the options presented to date.
- No “life-cycle” cost comparisons, including maintenance and operations have been made for any of the options to date.
- No “long-range, regional public transit master plan” is available to inform DOT of future traffic estimates, changing ridership needs and transportation modes.
This urban design study will take you through each option, and show you why these three questions above need to be answered as soon as possible.
- Neighborhoods are affected by the raised arterial.
- Street connectivity is affected by the superimposition of a highway.
- The highway creates a discontinuation of sidewalks, blocks and commercial centers.
- A traffic plan mitigating the highway closure during construction should demonstrate that there are on grade networks that are available and functional.
- How will the project support the goals of future sustainable transportation systems which can affect the capacity of infrastructure?
- The City and County need to work with the DOT to integrate the goals of large scale transit, rapid transit and regional network systems with any highway analysis.
- The project should accommodate commercial through traffic, but should also consider the actual amount when weighing the impact on system design.
- The project should follow the Federal Highway Standards when considering the environmental impact on the City and County.
- The project should reduce the impact of traffic on the air, land and water in and around the affected areas.
- The infrastructure should support not degrade.
What we think, what you think.
For each of the four options previously discussed (tunnel, viaduct, depressed highway or street level alternative), we filled out the I-81 preliminary evaluation provided by NYSDOT. You can print a blank evaluation below for personal review. Be sure to read the 17 footnotes below the chart to better understand in which the small ways your favorite option might affect the city.