William Price of SWBR design firm in Rochester claims the removal of the Skyway would only add about five minutes to the Southtowns commute. Only someone who has never made that commute would make that claim. Possibly on a Sunday at 11 a.m.
I may buy that argument, but during rush hour commute, into or out of the city, a half hour extra time may not be enough. He has obviously never seen the backup on Route 5 coming out of the city at 4:30 p.m.
If anything, the shutdown of the inbound Skyway after 11 a.m. the past two years has shown us the commute into the city over Ohio Street is no fun and definitely adds more than five minutes to your drive time.
It’s obvious neither Price or Gov. Andrew Cuomo ever stood behind 30 or more cars on the Ohio Street exit ramp waiting to make the right turn onto Ohio Street. That incidentally, is at 11 a.m. or later, not during rush hour.
Adding the lift bridge at South Michigan is something that should have been done 40 years ago after the old bridge was torn down to expedite traffic to the outer harbor. However, unless you have experienced the truck traffic in front of General Mills, you realize that is not the answer to expediting traffic into or out of Buffalo.
Removing the Skyway and opening the waterfront for public access and development is a great idea, just don’t try to convince Southtowns commuters or the FedEx truckers in Hamburg it’s only going to add a few minutes to the commute time. Construct a tunnel or a direct rail line into the city and you may move 40,000 cars into and out of the city. Anything less is a pipe dream.