Parkway can be a bigger asset with better maintenance, attractions

Posted 25 April 2014 at 12:00 am


Like Spring, the issue of closing a portion of the Lake Ontario State Parkway comes up again. A few years ago it was to suggest that lakeside prime real estate is only awaiting a developer and the closure of the westbound lanes. As noted at that time, you can find available real estate along the lake shore.  What the county needed then and needs now is more jobs.

And the let’s be frank – regardless of how far the Parkway was supposed to go westward, with the exception of the Rt. 98/Point Breeze Interchange – we as a county have done little to take advantage of a roadway that can bring traffic east to our businesses and attractions.

Instead of closing the westbound lanes, the Parkway should be upgraded to accommodate light commercial traffic and agricultural equipment. As bridges such as Wilson Road, Lake Shore Road, Kendall Road, and Norway Road need major repairs, perhaps they should be removed and replaced with at-grade intersections. That would reduce future maintenance costs, which would allow the funds to be used elsewhere.

Last fall, the eastbound Kendall to Morton stretch was re-paved, which makes for a much smoother ride along that section. Snow breaks were planted at an interchange to help reduce labor costs and reduce blowing and drifting snow in the winter.

The Lake Ontario State Parkway can be used to bring traffic from the east and support agricultural operations in northern Orleans County, but Orleans County will need more businesses and attractions that people want to travel west to experience. The Parkway can bring that traffic forward to our county – but we as a county need to take advantage of that opportunity.

Tom Klotzbach