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Author Topic: Interstate 81 in Syracuse  (Read 189623 times)

Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1325 on: February 16, 2023, 10:20:02 PM »

For Rochester to Binghamton, it adds an extra 9 minutes. Not awful honestly. And I don't think that Syracuse residents who live in the city all the time really care if Rochester-Binghamton traffic has to take an extra 9 minutes. You live in Rochester, and looking at the map, this mostly affects Rochester bound traffic the most. Doesn't affect Buffalo-east traffic that much.

Well, here we go again.  :cool:

Yes, I am well aware that it affects Rochester the most - and I'm not expecting anyone in Syracuse to care about traffic from Rochester, but from a traffic and engineering standpoint, they are all users of the road and it's part of a much larger road network, so all users of the road should considered, not just the locals. 9 minutes is a lot for medium-distance trip or a commute (remember, this affects anyone who commutes on the viaduct too, so it could go from a 10 minute trip to 18-19 in extreme cases), and there's not really any way to save time on alternate routes.

And it affects the Buffalo area just as much for anyone that takes the Thruway to Syracuse and then heads south. Some Buffalo traffic can use US 20A>NY 36>I-390 to get to Binghamton, but that's not faster from north of Buffalo, and it's also not viable for traffic heading to Cortland or anywhere else north of Binghamton.
Buffalo to Binghamton is 6 minutes faster using US 20A than I-81. Sure Cortland, but how much Buffalo-Cortland traffic is there? Like anything in our society, you have to weigh potential benefits and drawbacks. And maybe the extra minutes needed to detour isn't important enough to outweighs the benefits of tearing it down. Not everyone is a roadgeek you know.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1326 on: February 16, 2023, 10:20:20 PM »

Aren't they also improving I-481 as part of the plan?
Yes.

Isn't the plan also to reroute I-81 traffic onto I-481? The addition of a third lane still might not even be enough to handle the increased traffic, especially with rush hour IMO.
The only rush hour snafu in Syracuse is downtown at the Adams and Harrison ramps on I-81.  People will still take BL 81 downtown.

There will be additional traffic on new I-81, but the planned improvements will be adequate.

Keep your eye on NY 5/92, though.  I'm interested in seeing if the plans will work out along that busy suburban corridor.

Same goes for NY 31 in Cicero as Micron gets built.  So far, NYSDOT hasn't seen a dime of the promised $200m that was announced, insofar as I know.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1327 on: February 16, 2023, 10:22:17 PM »

In a freeway system like in Europe where freeways stay out of downtowns, maybe I-81 would be routed to the west of downtown Syracuse. Basically forming a loop with I-481 without going through downtown. That would be best in suppose. Unsure about 690.
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1328 on: February 16, 2023, 10:23:23 PM »

In a freeway system like in Europe where freeways stay out of downtowns, maybe I-81 would be routed to the west of downtown Syracuse. Basically forming a loop with I-481 without going through downtown. That would be best in suppose. Unsure about 690.
Please check the terrain southwest of Syracuse...
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webny99

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1329 on: February 16, 2023, 10:24:23 PM »

Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1330 on: February 16, 2023, 10:25:22 PM »

In a freeway system like in Europe where freeways stay out of downtowns, maybe I-81 would be routed to the west of downtown Syracuse. Basically forming a loop with I-481 without going through downtown. That would be best in suppose. Unsure about 690.
Please check the terrain southwest of Syracuse...
I see. Seems like my proposal would be tough then.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1331 on: February 16, 2023, 10:28:40 PM »

Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.
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webny99

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1332 on: February 16, 2023, 10:37:59 PM »

Buffalo to Binghamton is 6 minutes faster using US 20A than I-81. Sure Cortland, but how much Buffalo-Cortland traffic is there?

That's true from downtown, and also the southern suburbs such as Hamburg and Orchard Park. For the Buffalo-Niagara area as a whole, though, it's basically 50/50. Most areas to the north, such as Amherst (population 130k), the Tonawandas (combined 115k), and all of Niagara County (212k) would be faster to use I-90 to I-81.


Like anything in our society, you have to weigh potential benefits and drawbacks. And maybe the extra minutes needed to detour isn't important enough to outweighs the benefits of tearing it down. Not everyone is a roadgeek you know.

Well, of course. There are a lot of people who's job it is to figure that out. I'm not one of them, but the justification needs to be very strong to remove a major interstate from a city that's a significant interstate crossroads. There's really no precedent for it.
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webny99

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1333 on: February 16, 2023, 10:46:18 PM »

Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.

Yes, although in general it is safer to keep long distance traffic on freeways or divided highways. I haven't driven all of this route so I can't comment on all of it, but it's mostly two lanes outside of Auburn.

The other thing is that the people in these towns (especially Skaneateles, as I recall) are not happy about the viaduct coming down, as it may mean more truck traffic in their towns. Skaneateles is a quaint Finger Lakes village that would lose a lot of its charm if it became a major truck route.
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sprjus4

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1334 on: February 16, 2023, 10:49:02 PM »

Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.
Right, so letís put 75 miles of a trip between New York City and Rochester (two major cities in New York) on two lane road, and eliminate what is currently an all interstate highway routing.

Perfect logic.

And since youíre talking about potential benefits and drawbacks, how about evaluate the safety aspect of routing significant traffic volumes onto two lane roads. Increased risk for head on collisions, major reduction in safety overall, reduction in capacity, thereís ripple effects demolishing this highway has that goes beyond Syracuse. Adding 10 minutes to a trip will divert traffic traveling long distance onto back roads, clogging towns, increase accidents, basically going backwards from what we should be doing.

You can argue the urbanist aspects all day, and tell me well this project isnít changingÖ Iím not saying it is, Iím merely explaining reality of whatís going to happen.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2023, 10:53:16 PM by sprjus4 »
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froggie

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1335 on: February 16, 2023, 11:53:57 PM »

As webny said upthread, "here we go again".

First off, sprjus, there's already an all-Interstate routing between NYC and Rochester that does not involve I-81 at all.

Second, you're not talking about a large volume of traffic beween the south and west of Syracuse.  NYSDOT's OD studies concluded that only a couple thousand vehicles a day are making the connection between 81 to/from the south and 90 to/from the west...and it stands to reason that not all of them are going beyond Binghamton or all the way to Rochester.

Third, the route webny suggests is notably LESS than 75 miles.  Though if I were to do such and wanted to avoid Syracuse, I'd probably cut between Exit 40 and Tully instead.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1336 on: February 17, 2023, 12:18:24 AM »

As webny said upthread, "here we go again".

First off, sprjus, there's already an all-Interstate routing between NYC and Rochester that does not involve I-81 at all.

Second, you're not talking about a large volume of traffic beween the south and west of Syracuse.  NYSDOT's OD studies concluded that only a couple thousand vehicles a day are making the connection between 81 to/from the south and 90 to/from the west...and it stands to reason that not all of them are going beyond Binghamton or all the way to Rochester.

Third, the route webny suggests is notably LESS than 75 miles.  Though if I were to do such and wanted to avoid Syracuse, I'd probably cut between Exit 40 and Tully instead.
Did NYSDOT's studies keep in mind that most people would be taking I-690, not directly from I-81 to I-90?
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Plutonic Panda

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1337 on: February 17, 2023, 12:59:33 AM »

This would sure be great if they kept the viaduct!
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interstatefan990

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1338 on: February 17, 2023, 02:09:46 AM »

Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.
Right, so letís put 75 miles of a trip between New York City and Rochester (two major cities in New York) on two lane road, and eliminate what is currently an all interstate highway routing.

Perfect logic.

Coming from someone who's made the drive from the NYC area to Rochester and back a good number of times, this isn't the worst thing. The Thruway north of Albany in its most rural sections is pretty drab to drive through, so any surface road detour sounds nice.

Also, if you're planning to not do just 87 and 90, and instead stop in any of the Finger Lakes southern cities/towns, you're going to need to use two lane roads for a good distance anyway. Ithaca is a good example. This is why it's a wish of mine to see more of NY-13 between Elmira and Cortland upgraded to freeway status, or at least limited-access expressway, wherever possible. The same is true for NY-96 between Ithaca and I-90. I think Ithaca, being one of the largest cities in NY without an interstate, deserves better access to the rest of the system. It could even lead to a rejuvenation of the area economically, and allow more to enjoy its natural beauty.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1339 on: February 17, 2023, 06:58:36 AM »

As webny said upthread, "here we go again".

First off, sprjus, there's already an all-Interstate routing between NYC and Rochester that does not involve I-81 at all.

Second, you're not talking about a large volume of traffic beween the south and west of Syracuse.  NYSDOT's OD studies concluded that only a couple thousand vehicles a day are making the connection between 81 to/from the south and 90 to/from the west...and it stands to reason that not all of them are going beyond Binghamton or all the way to Rochester.

Third, the route webny suggests is notably LESS than 75 miles.  Though if I were to do such and wanted to avoid Syracuse, I'd probably cut between Exit 40 and Tully instead.
Did NYSDOT's studies keep in mind that most people would be taking I-690, not directly from I-81 to I-90?
Yes.
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1340 on: February 17, 2023, 07:00:53 AM »

Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.
Right, so letís put 75 miles of a trip between New York City and Rochester (two major cities in New York) on two lane road, and eliminate what is currently an all interstate highway routing.

Perfect logic.

Coming from someone who's made the drive from the NYC area to Rochester and back a good number of times, this isn't the worst thing. The Thruway north of Albany in its most rural sections is pretty drab to drive through, so any surface road detour sounds nice.

Also, if you're planning to not do just 87 and 90, and instead stop in any of the Finger Lakes southern cities/towns, you're going to need to use two lane roads for a good distance anyway. Ithaca is a good example. This is why it's a wish of mine to see more of NY-13 between Elmira and Cortland upgraded to freeway status, or at least limited-access expressway, wherever possible. The same is true for NY-96 between Ithaca and I-90. I think Ithaca, being one of the largest cities in NY without an interstate, deserves better access to the rest of the system. It could even lead to a rejuvenation of the area economically, and allow more to enjoy its natural beauty.
The Thruway north of Albany?

Taking I-87 to I-90 between NYC and Rochester?

Stopping in Ithaca while using I-87 and I-90?

What is this nonsense?
« Last Edit: February 17, 2023, 07:03:51 AM by Rothman »
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froggie

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1341 on: February 17, 2023, 07:48:03 AM »

This would sure be great if they kept the viaduct!

The viaduct is coming down.  Best for it to happen when traffic is NOT using it.  That thing was a rustbucket 20 years ago and there's no amount of rehab that can save the existing structure.

What you probably meant to say is "this would sure be great if the viaduct was being replaced."
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Rothman

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1342 on: February 17, 2023, 08:20:19 AM »

There are rumblings that the judge's ruling actually may bolster the argument for the Grid in the end.  If you go along with the logic that NYSDOT did not consider Micron in its alternatives (remember that the Grid was not the only one), that means the proposed viaduct replacement was undersized, causing the need for more ROW (probably from the Upstate properties) and materials to build an even wider viaduct due to Micron.  This means that the viaduct replacement would be even less competitive than it was before.

(personal opinion emphasized)
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webny99

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1343 on: February 17, 2023, 08:49:14 AM »

First off, sprjus, there's already an all-Interstate routing between NYC and Rochester that does not involve I-81 at all.

There's technically two all-interstate routings if you allow I-81 south of Binghamton. I-390>I-86*>I-81>I-380>I-80 is a bit longer than going through Syracuse, but still more viable than I-90>I-87 (which has over $20 in tolls in addition to the longer mileage and time).



Second, you're not talking about a large volume of traffic beween the south and west of Syracuse.  NYSDOT's OD studies concluded that only a couple thousand vehicles a day are making the connection between 81 to/from the south and 90 to/from the west...and it stands to reason that not all of them are going beyond Binghamton or all the way to Rochester.
...
Did NYSDOT's studies keep in mind that most people would be taking I-690, not directly from I-81 to I-90?

Both connections (via I-690 and I-81 to I-90 directly) were supposedly accounted for in the study. As I said way earlier in the thread, it seems low to me, but I have no basis to dispute it other than personal experience. And I question whether seasonal/summer travel is is accounted for, but have no idea if it is.

Also FWIW... it's a toss-up as to which way is faster to get between I-90 east and I-81 south. I-690 saves a little bit of mileage and tolls, but it's within a minute or two at most, and I-90 to I-81 is more consistent, traffic-wise.
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1344 on: February 17, 2023, 12:45:21 PM »

Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.
Right, so letís put 75 miles of a trip between New York City and Rochester (two major cities in New York) on two lane road, and eliminate what is currently an all interstate highway routing.

Perfect logic.

Coming from someone who's made the drive from the NYC area to Rochester and back a good number of times, this isn't the worst thing. The Thruway north of Albany in its most rural sections is pretty drab to drive through, so any surface road detour sounds nice.

Also, if you're planning to not do just 87 and 90, and instead stop in any of the Finger Lakes southern cities/towns, you're going to need to use two lane roads for a good distance anyway. Ithaca is a good example. This is why it's a wish of mine to see more of NY-13 between Elmira and Cortland upgraded to freeway status, or at least limited-access expressway, wherever possible. The same is true for NY-96 between Ithaca and I-90. I think Ithaca, being one of the largest cities in NY without an interstate, deserves better access to the rest of the system. It could even lead to a rejuvenation of the area economically, and allow more to enjoy its natural beauty.
The Thruway north of Albany?

Taking I-87 to I-90 between NYC and Rochester?

Stopping in Ithaca while using I-87 and I-90?

What is this nonsense?

Yes, rural parts of the Thruway that are geographically north of Albany, not actually in a straight line continuing north from Albany. The Hudson Valley part of the Thruway is more scenic and less boring to drive on. And I said stopping in Ithaca if youíre not using 87 and 90.

Also, excuse *ME* for daring to diverge from the topic a teeny bit and focusing on sprjus4ís apparent claim that trips between NYC and Rochester should remain an all-interstate routing.
« Last Edit: February 17, 2023, 01:00:37 PM by interstatefan990 »
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1345 on: February 17, 2023, 01:31:30 PM »



Also since we're getting way into the weeds here (although this will likely have a practical bearing someday), there are also alternates using backroads to "cut the corner" and avoid the Syracuse area altogether. This typically involves taking Thruway Exit 41 to NY 318 to NY 5/US 20, and then either local roads to NY 34 to NY 90, or going through Auburn (not recommended during daytime hours) and then heading south on NY 41, rejoining I-81 in Homer. These alternatives save about 20 miles and are within a couple of minutes time-wise, as seen here (at the time of this post).
Yeah, and unless those roads start getting clogged, they can absolutely work for travel. Not every corridor has to be 100% freeway.
Right, so letís put 75 miles of a trip between New York City and Rochester (two major cities in New York) on two lane road, and eliminate what is currently an all interstate highway routing.

Perfect logic.

Coming from someone who's made the drive from the NYC area to Rochester and back a good number of times, this isn't the worst thing. The Thruway north of Albany in its most rural sections is pretty drab to drive through, so any surface road detour sounds nice.

Also, if you're planning to not do just 87 and 90, and instead stop in any of the Finger Lakes southern cities/towns, you're going to need to use two lane roads for a good distance anyway. Ithaca is a good example. This is why it's a wish of mine to see more of NY-13 between Elmira and Cortland upgraded to freeway status, or at least limited-access expressway, wherever possible. The same is true for NY-96 between Ithaca and I-90. I think Ithaca, being one of the largest cities in NY without an interstate, deserves better access to the rest of the system. It could even lead to a rejuvenation of the area economically, and allow more to enjoy its natural beauty.
The Thruway north of Albany?

Taking I-87 to I-90 between NYC and Rochester?

Stopping in Ithaca while using I-87 and I-90?

What is this nonsense?

Yes, rural parts of the Thruway that are geographically north of Albany, not actually in a straight line continuing north from Albany. The Hudson Valley part of the Thruway is more scenic and less boring to drive on. And I said stopping in Ithaca if youíre not using 87 and 90.

Also, excuse *ME* for daring to diverge from the topic a teeny bit and focusing on sprjus4ís apparent claim that trips between NYC and Rochester should remain an all-interstate routing.

Certainly a unique perspective, especially given other discussions on the forum regarding scenery along the Thruway.
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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1346 on: February 17, 2023, 01:52:36 PM »

Coming from someone who's made the drive from the NYC area to Rochester and back a good number of times, this isn't the worst thing. The Thruway north of Albany in its most rural sections is pretty drab to drive through, so any surface road detour sounds nice.
The Thruway north of Albany?

Taking I-87 to I-90 between NYC and Rochester?

Stopping in Ithaca while using I-87 and I-90?

What is this nonsense?

Yes, rural parts of the Thruway that are geographically north of Albany, not actually in a straight line continuing north from Albany. The Hudson Valley part of the Thruway is more scenic and less boring to drive on. And I said stopping in Ithaca if youíre not using 87 and 90.

Also, excuse *ME* for daring to diverge from the topic a teeny bit and focusing on sprjus4ís apparent claim that trips between NYC and Rochester should remain an all-interstate routing.

Most normal people would say the Thruway west of Albany, not north...
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kalvado

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1347 on: February 17, 2023, 02:05:49 PM »

Coming from someone who's made the drive from the NYC area to Rochester and back a good number of times, this isn't the worst thing. The Thruway north of Albany in its most rural sections is pretty drab to drive through, so any surface road detour sounds nice.
The Thruway north of Albany?

Taking I-87 to I-90 between NYC and Rochester?

Stopping in Ithaca while using I-87 and I-90?

What is this nonsense?

Yes, rural parts of the Thruway that are geographically north of Albany, not actually in a straight line continuing north from Albany. The Hudson Valley part of the Thruway is more scenic and less boring to drive on. And I said stopping in Ithaca if youíre not using 87 and 90.

Also, excuse *ME* for daring to diverge from the topic a teeny bit and focusing on sprjus4ís apparent claim that trips between NYC and Rochester should remain an all-interstate routing.

Most normal people would say the Thruway west of Albany, not north...
Maybe the purpose was to exclude part of Buffalo-Erie stretch from generalization?
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interstatefan990

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1348 on: February 17, 2023, 02:31:05 PM »

Certainly a unique perspective, especially given other discussions on the forum regarding scenery along the Thruway.

You're telling me this is scenic?

Most normal people would say the Thruway west of Albany, not north...

There's no Thruway east of Albany, so that's not a much better alternative. "The Thruway past Albany" is what I think you're trying to say.

Maybe the purpose was to exclude part of Buffalo-Erie stretch from generalization?

Correct. I've never driven that stretch (but am planning to this summer), so I can't really speak to the scenery of that portion anyway.
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Roadgeekteen

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Re: Interstate 81 in Syracuse
« Reply #1349 on: February 17, 2023, 02:35:57 PM »

Certainly a unique perspective, especially given other discussions on the forum regarding scenery along the Thruway.

You're telling me this is scenic?

Most normal people would say the Thruway west of Albany, not north...

There's no Thruway east of Albany, so that's not a much better alternative. "The Thruway past Albany" is what I think you're trying to say.

The Berkshire Connector says hi
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Current Interstate map I am making:

https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?hl=en&mid=1PEDVyNb1skhnkPkgXi8JMaaudM2zI-Y&ll=29.05778059819179%2C-82.48856825&z=5

 


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