Hawley pushes for DOT action on deteriorating Parkway

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 3 September 2015 at 12:00 am

Assemblyman seeks study for future of road, perhaps opening up northern lanes for development

File photos by Tom Rivers – The Lake Ontario State Parkway runs along the lakeshore from Carlton into Rochester.

KENDALL – State Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R-Batavia) is trying to press the state Department of Transportation and Gov. Andrew Cuomo to improve the condition of the Lake Ontario State Parkway.

The recreational route has increasingly been the source for complaints by motorists and elected officials in lakeshore communities due to the deteriorating condition.

Hawley said he recently sent a letter to Gov. Cuomo urging him to address the condition of the Lake Ontario State Parkway that runs along the shorelines of Lake Ontario in Orleans and Monroe counties.

“I have received hundreds of letters and emails regarding this issue,” Hawley said in his letter to the governor. “I know that local residents have had to put up with deteriorating conditions for far too long, and I know from personal experience the dangers that drivers and passengers are subjected to when traveling the Parkway.”

The bridges over Oak Orchard River were built for the Lake Ontario State Parkway, which ends abruptly 2 miles west of the river.

Hawley, in a news release this afternoon, said his letter further detailed the need to sustain New York’s Great Lakes waterfront as a world-class tourist destination and how popular the Parkway is for businesses and tourists. He also made recommendations as to how to save the state money on infrastructure repair costs during the harsh winter months.

“I am asking if we could do a study to eliminate the northern two lanes and make the southern two lanes a two-lane roadway during the winter months to save taxpayer money,” Hawley wrote. “The northern lanes could be given back to municipalities to be sold to those who want to build homes along the shoreline, enticing more people to live in New York State.”

Orleans Hub has editorialized about the Parkway, in particular the prospect of making it a two-lane road and opening up sections of the Parkway for development.

The Parkway is currently classified as parkland by the state and would need to go through a process of alienation to be developed or turned over to the local municipalities, an action that needs state Legislature approval.

Click here to see an editorial titled, “Open up Parkway to boost tax base, population.”