by Kevin F. Yost
The construction of an expressway US 219 between Springville and Salamanca to connect the existing expressway portions already there could be beneficial. However, this must be done right as to not build through landslide areas, adversely affect existing farmland, or build wind farms down the median. My father taught me when doing household chores or helping him on house or yard projects, “If you’re going to do something, do it right.” The NYSDOT is apparently not doing this, and neither is the Peace Bridge Authority.
The same benefits or adverse effects of not doing things right could be said if Route 400 were to be extended to Interstate 86 at Hinsdale. Both this and US 219 should be rerouted to connect to each other and to Interstate 190 and the New York State Thruway at the same interchange. The extended Route 400 and portion of I-190 from the Thruway to downtown should then take on the designation of either “Interstate 186” or “Interstate 99” with the latter taking on the taking on the designation of US 15 from I-86 at Corning to Williamsport and the designation of US 220 from there to the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-76) at Altoona. Perhaps I-99 could run with I-90 from the possible I-90/I-190/219/400 interchange and take over the designation of I-290 and the remainder of I-190 from Tonawanda to the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge. I do not support make 219 an expressway anywhere south of Salamanca where it is not already so.
However, I have previously advocated for the conversions of Route 5 between the Inner Harbor and Woodlawn, I-190 between Michigan Avenue and Sheridan Drive, and of Routes 33 and 198 into new or restored or extended parkways. (In addition to restoring and extending Humboldt Parkway between the northeast end of downtown—absorbing the parallel streets there—and Bridgeburg, Fort Erie, Ontario, I would also now make the case for converting the portion of the Kensington-King between the Thruway and the 33/198 split into a “Maryvale Parkway” absorbing Maryvale Drive and intersecting with William Gaiter Parkway and ending at Humboldt Parkway.) These expressways could not only be substituted for parkways, but also for an extended MetroRail network to move people between the city and suburbs more quickly.
The New York State Thruway Authority should be abolished to make the changes where it intersects with Route 33, Route 400, US 219, and interstates 290 and 190 possible. Route 33 should be extended to the Thruway beyond Transit Road and become the new Thruway/Interstate 90 designation, with the toll barrier there (unless the Thruway is hopefully abolished), and tear up the existing road between there and the interchange with I-290 to end the bottleneck between the Thruway’s close two interchanges with 33 and 290.
As well, the new Peace Bridge should be scuttled. Instead, new bridges should be built along the International Railroad Bridge by extending slightly Route 198 and another bridge by extending Sheridan Drive. One could be the three-arch type, the other of the two-tower and cable type, or less expensive designs. Either way, both these and the existing Peace Bridge, which should stay as is, should be for non-commercial vehicles only, and freight between here and Canada should only be carried on railroad trains. This could preserve the Peace Bridge neighborhood, and eliminate pollution and restore parkland there, as could eliminating I-190, restoring the Erie Canal between the Commercial Slip and Tonawanda and making Niagara Street and River Road into parkways.
As well, more trains away from Buffalo, such as between here and the Southern Tier, could also reduce or eliminate the need to extend the Route 400 and US 219 expressways. I hate having to deal with trucks while driving on expressways and my father was scared out of driving them again when he was in a tragic accident with a regular car driven by a drunk driver.
Kevin F. Yost, Henrietta
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