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St. Joseph's Hospital Health Center

Advancing Excellence

Sep 16 2013
How the debate over Route 81 will impact St. Joseph's

Earlier this summer I was in SanFrancisco visiting my daughter in her new job and home, and seeing her new community. I remember one day looking across the neighborhoods and thinking nothing was obstructing my view. No highway running through the middle of the city.  Wow, what a difference.

Many years ago Route 81 was thought to be good urban planning. It destroyed a neighborhood and divided our community. It put public housing next to noise and pollution. It created a highway that has poor safety scores and high accident outcomes. 

The  useful life is up for this highway, and what to do next is the question. The final decision will be made by the NYS Department of Transportation, and must follow a process to qualify for federal highway funds. We are told the NYS Transportation Commissioner has been very open to community input but the clock is ticking and we have a decision to make. The decision will be made in 2014.

For St. Joseph's we are concerned on two levels. First, we want a solution that is safe and healthy for our community. Second, we want one that does not destroy the work we are trying to do on the North side to restore community, repair housing and businesses. But we really don't know the details of these plans.  What studies have been done to develop options? How did we get to two options with so little information on impacts?

A group of our leaders and community partners met recently to discuss the options, and quickly concluded we need more information before landing on one of the two options currently being promoted. 

So those are the basics, and we will look for ways to make sure our voice is heard in this debate. We encourage everyone to stay focused on the data and the analysis that comes forward before settling on these two options.


1 Comments so far

Baptiste Westbrook September 16, 2013 at 10:14 am

Thank you for giving attention to this issue in the midst of so many activities. There does seem to be a disconnect between the diversity of our community and the rush to pick A or B. Even game shows are more open than that.

The information provided on this site should not be taken as medical advice. As always, we strongly recommend that you consult with a physician if you have any medical concerns.