An independent poll commissioned by recently found that Onondaga County residents are in favor of keeping Interstate 81 as an interstate highway, rather than replacing it with a boulevard or “community grid” through the city of the Syracuse. 

Public Policy Polling conducted the poll of 1,138 voters on Nov. 28 and 29.

The margin of error is plus or minus 2.9 percent.

According to the survey, 59% of the respondents support keeping I-81 as an interstate highway through Syracuse, with only 34 percent supporting turning it into a boulevard.

Seven percent of the respondents were not sure.

Respondents were asked if they preferred Interstate 81 remain as an Interstate highway along its present route through Syracuse or be rerouted to the east on Interstate 481 and replaced with a street-level route through Syracuse.

“The DOT must reconsider and adopt the Access Syracuse Plan, which would meet the desires of all of respondents, by keeping the Interstate highway intact in its vital route through Syracuse while also providing a surface boulevard that could actually carry the reduced traffic load required of it,” said Tony Mangano, a member of

 “The results are consistent with various other surveys and polls over the last three years that overwhelmingly, the residents of the city of Syracuse and Onondaga County want to maintain Interstate 81 as a through-highway. If it is a community grid or a boulevard, it will circumvent the town altogether. The town has grown up around access to the highway. You eliminate that access – it becomes and economic issue for the town of Salina,” said Mark Nicotra, Town of Salina supervisor and Save81 charter member.

The final public meeting hosted by the State D.O.T. will run from 6 to 8 p.m. at Cicero-North Syracuse High School. Community members can also submit comments and questions here.

For more information on the project and the various proposals for revitalization, click here.