Route 81 Et Al
From what I understand, the decision on what to do about Route 81 has come down to 2 choices. One involves it becoming a boulevard, at ground level of course, so that it doesn’t eliminate access to the city, the mall, or the northern suburbs. Another is to replace what we have now with another high rise, designed differently in some fashion, and still have some sort of access to street level that helps bring back some life to the area that separates the hospitals from “the people”, if you will.
I have to admit that I’m totally lost in this entire discussion. I understand that the road has become kind of costly to maintain and yet my thoughts are that it’s only the section that involves the area between just before the university area and just before the Court Street area; don’t quote me on that. In other words, it’s not all of Route 81, but maybe 2 miles at best.
I don’t have an official dog in this hunt, but I do have a participatory presence as someone who often has to drive that section of road. My preference would be that nothing impedes my drive from one side of the city to the other when I’m ready to go towards home, which is the Liverpool area. My preference would be that I not lose access to getting off at Court Street, or not being able to easily access either direction to Route 690, although I acknowledge that right now that’s one of the scariest propositions in the city, whether you’re on Route 81 or coming up from road level.
At the same time, it would be nice having a boulevard of some kind that could take on the type of life that mirrors parts of Erie Boulevard East, with more restaurants and shops, as I believe that could help revitalize the area and still offer local businesses a better chance to thrive as well.
Part of this already seems to have been answered, as the county legislature rejected the boulevard idea as the ultimate solution. Without them, I can’t figure out how it remained an option to begin with since, according to Mayor Miner, the city’s on the brink of bankruptcy. It’s too bad the tunnel idea was too expensive to explore further, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to happen.
Frankly, I’m both excited and troubled by what could be coming. Whereas I think major improvements can and need to be made to what we have now in both safety and economical prospects, the possibility of not being able to get home quicker disturbs me. I think at this point any decision made will still leave easy access to the mall and I’m expecting easy access to the state fairgrounds. Not knowing for sure is troubling. I wish I had better vision in seeing this, but I don’t.