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Every city along the Thruway now wants to tear down a highway.

In Albany, Interstate 787 separates the city from the Hudson River. Planners want to raze it to develop the waterfront. There’s no money in the pipeline, so the city’s been advised to “work around it.”

In Syracuse, the state is considering options for rehabbing the elevated Interstate 81, which dissects the city. One of the options is to tear it down and build an at-grade boulevard. None of the options are cheap, starting at a half billion dollars.

In Rochester, the city is waiting for federal funding to fill in the sunken Inner Loop. The city calls it a noose around the neck of downtown, cutting off neighborhoods. The Inner Loop isn’t well-traveled. The cost of the project is around $20 million.

In Buffalo, Rep. Brian Higgins wants to tear down the Skyway, which runs along the Outer Harbor. He says it’s a barrier to waterfront development. The state says it’s not a priority. The project would cost at least $100 million, but Higgins points out much of that money would be funneled into repairs of the current structure.

Links of the Day:

– New York State wants a bite of Apple. Industrial sites everywhere are salivating over the prospect of a chip manufacturing plant.

– Superintendent Bolgen Vargas wants to make schools more middle class. He asks how schools can put on a play with no music classes.

There are more women cops in the Rochester area.

– Feeling yucky? Consider letting the University of Rochester study your germs.

8 Responses to Tear ‘Em Down

  1. That is a REALLY OLD picture of Syracuse. It’s from before I-690 was shoved into the same area. You can still see St. Peter’s, my childhood parish’s former church building, nestled up against the highway – the little one in the middle of the image, not the big church on the lower left. It was demolished to make way for 690 before I was born and the parish moved up James Street. Now, it is a dead parish in a ghetto.
    The big church in the picture is now a stained glass studio -http://www.brennanstainedglassstudio.com/

    The small old buildings that surround the white parking garage are gone. So, for that matter, is the parking garage. Bad concrete.

  2. December 12, 2012 at 9:34 am Hahvahd St responds:

    I like all of these ideas, highways are always have a splitting function in a city. If you’ve been to Boston recently, the Big Dig has a had a great effect on the waterfront area that was previously cut off from downtown. Now the highway is underground and there is a nice boulevard in its place. They now have very nice condos and restaurants on the water that have easy access to downtown.

  3. I fear what they are really looking for is construction jobs.

  4. December 12, 2012 at 11:31 am theodore kumlander responds:

    the longer school day was coming i am surprised they didn’t do it a few years ago. the reason there is less traffic in the inner loop is because there a lot less people coming into the city. a far as it being a noose around the neck of downtown, downtown died along time ago.

  5. December 12, 2012 at 11:38 am Kevin F. Yost responds:

    Tear down I-81 in Syracuse and make I-481 the new I-81. Tear down I-690 over there and reroute it east and south of the city. Fill in the Inner Loop here in Rochester, it a parkway between East Main Street and a roundabout at Maple, Grape, Wilder, and Jeffeson, tear down the Skyway and portion of I-190 between Michigan Avenue and Sheridan drive in Buffalo and make Routes 33 and 198 over there into parkways west of I-90 and take down the arterials in Utica and Auburn. The same should be done of most if not all of the Clemens Center Parkway in Elmira, but that will have to wait a while, as it was built not too long ago.

  6. Though I do understand how the innerloop is seen as a noose, but I do think it could be used as something positive. Why couldn’t we make it into a park or a green walkway that could be enjoyed by everyone. Imagine the color it would bring to an otherwise gray downtown. It could also be made into a comunity garden where, instead of dividing neighborhoods, it could bring them together. Just some thoughts.

  7. Filling the inner loop is a step in the right direction, but it needs to return to as close as the old street grid as possible. Right now the plan seems to close to a ford st or upper falls blvd with buildings on the street. While an improvement, it’ll still be an obstacle for development and pedestrians.

  8. Not that foolish proposals are anything new, but most of these are absurd. As someone else said, it’s mostly talk for construction jobs. And the money would come from where?
    Yet realistically, of all of them, filling in Rochester’s Inner Loop and tearing down Buffalo’s Skyway make the most sense. The Skyway isn’t open in high winds, which makes you wonder about the idiot who designed it.
    As far as Syracuse and Albany, what are you going to do in Syracuse, put it underground. Who wants to go to downtown Syracuse anyway. So bag that idea. And raze 787 in Albany. Where is that traffic going to go? Ridiculous ideas, which should never again see the light of day.

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