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The Future of The Skyway

Congressman Brian Higgins is calling for the NYSDOT to conduct “a full and formal Environmental Impact Statement of the Buffalo Skyway including an assessment of Skyway removal and alternatives.” This comes at a time when a lot of people are just starting to understand the potential of the bridge, not as transport for moving cars, but as a unique ribbon along our skyline that could potentially be converted into a pedestrian walkway/bikeway.

When plans first arose regarding the High Line in NYC, there was an immediate outcry (much of it from government officials) who stated that it was a silly idea. Today, we are faced with a similar quandary. Unfortunately, politicians are not discussing alternatives for The Skyway, they are simply calling for it to be taken down.

If left standing as a public destination along our waterfront (no car traffic) then it would be a lot cheaper to maintain. Light the bridge up at night and it could be Buffalo’s St. Louis Gateway Arch. The problem is, we still don’t look at the fullest potential for these types of projects, we simply look at what is the easiest way out. If The Skyway gets demolished, I am willing to bet that many years from that date, people will look back and say that this city messed up again, because of the lost potential.

The biggest problem with The Skyway, in my eyes, is the noise and the smell of the traffic. Take that away, and open it to the people, and we could be sitting on a goldmine as far as marketing a waterfront destination. Just think of the excitement, the views, the potential for this Jetsonian bridge to be a player in a rapidly reinventing Buffalo. All I ask (as others do) is to weigh the alternatives and get some public input before a couple of politicians decide for an entire city what is best for them. It’s not too late to rethink the possibilities.

For years I was on the “knock it down” bandwagon, until a couple out out-of-towers opened by eyes to the uniqueness and the potential of The Skyway. So I ate crow, and changed my mind. The best thing that anyone can do regarding this issue, is to look at this with open eyes. Let your imagination run wild. Open your mind and look at The Skyway from all angles. I bet that no one would have ever guessed that cyclists would be riding this elevated architectural dynamo. It started with a few people who had imagination and gumption. Just think about where that sort of imagination could lead us?

I was reminded about the awesomeness of The Skyway, thanks to a drone video that Mike Ciancio submitted to BRO. The video showcases The SkyRide – an annual event that has become a mainstay of this city and its people. 

From Mike:

“I am back once again! This time with my new drone… A little video put together of the SkyRide Buffalo 2016 from last weekend. The video explains itself, and everyone is familiar with the SkyRide already.  I just recently bought a DJI Phantom 4, and have always had a passion for photography and videography.  I never took any classes for any software or anything, everything is self taught. So I am looking to get some feedback from BRO viewers. I am looking into selling some prints of my photographs soon. I am open to any ideas from people, and would consider helping anyone I can. For now I do not have an official website. My YouTube channel is linked here. Other than that people can follow me on Instagram to see more: @mikeciancio.”

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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