Public airs opinions surrounding roundabout replacing I-81 near Dr. King Elementary

Future of 81
people at meeting

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — The roundabout is what’s most talked about at Dr. King Elementary in Syracuse. Mark Frechette, the state official overseeing the I-81 project, says the majority of people he’s heard from don’t like the idea of it. 

“I would say most of the comments I have seen are not in favor of the location of the  roundabout,” Frechette said. 

The New York State Department of Transportation wants to put a roundabout about 120 feet from the school. 

Sheilla Denson is very much against it. She made her rounds at the open houses to learn more about the project but she’s firmly against this part of the plan, citing safety concerns. 

“Little kids are getting out of school and traffic is going wild. By the time the 5 p.m. traffic comes around it puts our little kids in danger,” Denson said. 

The DOT proposed this roundabout to slow traffic as it comes to the grid. Frechette says they’re safer than having a traffic light, but added engineers are already looking at possible alternatives. 

“The public does not hesitate to tell us what they think, and that’s good because I think the whole process has been built on making the alternatives better and we want to make the alternative as good as possible before we get to the construction phases,” Frechette said. 

Public comments will be accepted up until October 14.

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