I think it is time to really place the concerns and welfare of Southern Erie County residents at the top of determining the fate of the Skyway. I enjoy the waterfront and live in the Southtowns. I have commuted to Niagara Falls for work for six years. The recent articles call the Skyway ugly. I see it as a wonder when the sunsets are in full force and a provider of a beautiful entry point for outsiders entering downtown Buffalo. Keep in mind, the waterfront project has moved ahead without removing one of the few major access points from Southern Erie County.
The question of removal is not just a City of Buffalo issue or a beautification issue. Let us be sensible when we address the need for Southtown residents to get to the medical corridor for health care, the University at Buffalo City campus or as most residents, to get to work.
I would not ask the state to shut down major highways from the north or eastern areas to make it pretty, rather I would look for work-around solutions.
If and when a viable plan for not just continuing but maybe improving our ability to access services from the Southtowns is available, then start talking about removal. Right now this issue only serves to divide communities practically and emotionally.
A few slow days on the Skyway pale when you look at how an accident shuts down any highway. Maybe we should look at how many days the snow causes a closure on the Skyway and see how that compares to efforts to move all regional traffic effectively.
We might find this is not the major issue we should be addressing when looking for needed funding. Look at extending the Metro Rail in all directions and see if that works. If that decreases usage then start talking about choke points that need addressing.
Do not get me wrong, I enjoy the waterfront. As many times as I walk around that area, I am impressed not disgusted by the Skyway. It was an accomplishment, built for commerce and practicality and stands as the best solution we have so far.
Prove there is a better one for all residents of Southern Erie County area before you discard the one you have.