"It is a highway, it is asphalt and concrete, we get a shovel and we hit it enough times it cracks up ... put it in a truck and there is no more highway."

robert moses parkway conversion gif

The Cuomo admin released these images for the project today (we gif'ed them). Here are more, and larger, images.

Farther afield, but maybe of note because of the ongoing 787 discussion: The Cuomo admin announced today it's directing $42 million toward ripping out a two-mile section of the Robert Moses Parkway along the Niagara River and gorge in Niagara Falls. The project will include reconstruction of a parallel street, along with new bike trails and green space. Local representatives have been pushing for the highway's removal for years. [Cuomo admin] [Buffalo News]

There are a lot of differences between the Robert Moses Parkway and 787 -- including scale. The parkway carries not quite 3200 vehicles a day, according traffic volume estimates. The segment of 787 just north of the South Mall Expressway carries almost 46,000 vehicles.

But if you're a tear-down-787 person, some of the remarks Andrew Cuomo made today might make your ears perk up.

From a Cuomo admin transcript:

Now, part of what we are talking about and what we are doing is correcting past mistakes. The Robert Moses parkway, sometimes we have great intent and we execute it poorly. Robert Moses parkway was not a good idea to put it in the place that it was placed. The mayor is exactly right and then for a lot of year, we talk about how, "we should really take up the Robert Moses parkway." But it was said in that vein of, "we could never do this. But we should take up the Robert Moses parkway. But you couldn't." Why? "Because it is too big, too bold, too expensive. It is just too ambitious. Too ambitious." And part of my point was that there is nothing too ambitious for New York. We lost our mojo, forgetting who we are we better look in a mirror. Too ambitious for us? We are a state of people who were told "you can't" right? And we said, "yes we could!" That is part of bringing back western New York's energy and growth. Believe in you. It is a highway, it is asphalt and concrete, we get a shovel and we hit it enough times it cracks up, it gets loose, we pick it up and we put it in a truck and there is no more highway. That is just what it is.
So don't tell me that we can't do it and as a metaphor for yes we can, yes we can do big things, yes we can make this a better place, yes the future can be brighter. Doing the Robert Moses parkway is just that. It is just that. We all knew it was a mistake but it was there and for too long and nothing was done about it and now we said we are going to come back and we are going to redo it and we are and this is just the first phase. Today I am pleased to announce $40 million to do the second phase and to complete the project.

Converting 787 into something like a boulevard in downtown Albany isn't going to cost $40 million -- it would probably be something more like $400 million. As officials said last year in reference to 787, the money just isn't available. And, as we wrote back then, we still suspect that any major change to 787 will be the result of some outside force intervening -- like a governor deciding to make it a showcase economic development project, or the state plowing some sort of windfall into infrastructure spending.

But someone just said there's "nothing too ambitious for New York." So maybe. Someday.

Earlier on AOA:
+ What if tearing down I-787 could actually improve traffic?
+ The South Mall Expressway set for a rehab
+ Thinking about the future of the South End
+ Four takeaways from the kickoff for the study about the future of I-787

Comments

There ought to be more than two options in the conversation about 787. For instance, see Gardiner Expressway in Toronto.

http://www.undergardiner.com/what.html


Say Something!

We'd really like you to take part in the conversation here at All Over Albany. But we do have a few rules here. Don't worry, they're easy. The first: be kind. The second: treat everyone else with the same respect you'd like to see in return. Cool? Great, post away. Comments are moderated so it might take a little while for your comment to show up. Thanks for being patient.

The Scoop

Ever wish you had a smart, savvy friend with the inside line on what's happening around the Capital Region? You know, the kind of stuff that makes your life just a little bit better? Yeah, we do, too. That's why we created All Over Albany. Find out more.

Recently on All Over Albany

Many sunsets, one skyline

Check out this composite photo of Albany skyline sunsets by local photographer John Bulmer. After he shared it on Twitter recently, we asked him if... (more)

Dining Out for Life 2017

The annual Dining Out for Life event returns this Thursday (April 27) at restaurants all around the Capital Region. The event is a fundraiser for... (more)

Alabama Shakes at The Palace

The blues rock band Alabama Shakes is set to play a show at The Palace August 1. Tickets go on sale this Friday, April 28... (more)

Signs from the Albany March for Science

Thousands of people gathered in West Capitol Park Saturday for the Albany Science March event to rally support for research funding and evidence-based public policy... (more)

Amtrak's future

Over at NYT, a look at the decaying rail infrastructure in the Northeast and Amtrak's perpetual funding crunch: "Today, Amtrak finds itself at a crossroad:... (more)

Recent Comments

While they may not cough up the full taxes that would otherwise be due, wouldn't it be great if St. Rose, WAMC, SUNY and St. Peters hospital, chipped in *something*.?...Albany Med just agreed to $500K a year---a drop in the bucket given the value of all their property---but it is the right step forward. (Just to pre-empt the argument: the "economic impact" of these not for profits is real, but only cash pays the bills :-) Getting a free ride is not fair.

Drawing: Champagne on the Park 2017

...has 39 comments, most recently from Katie

Amtrak's future

...has 1 comment, most recently from daleyplanit

Drawing: Neil deGrasse Tyson at Proctors

...has 76 comments, most recently from ace

Tara Kitchen Troy is now open

...has 8 comments, most recently from Paul

Follow up: The Dutch Udder Craft Ice Cream

...has 3 comments, most recently from mg