This is Why the Time To Remove Albany’s I-787 is Right Now
I've only lived in the Capital Region for a couple of years now, but one of the first things I noticed when I drove into downtown Albany was the mess that's known as I-787. The huge curly Q exits ramps, how it blocks the skyline and creates a barrier between the riverfront and the downtown area.
I realized very quickly that 787 is a huge eyesore and a huge point of contention for a lot of people in the Capital Region. Sure, it might make it a little easier to get around, shaving a few minutes off your commute, but in my opinion, the negatives outweigh the positives.
The Times Union, has written a few articles about why now is the time to tear down 787 and why now it could get down with the help of the federal government. Governor Hochul, President Biden, and Senator Chuck Schumer are all focused on rebuilding the economy by building and rebuilding our countries infrastructure of roads, highways, and bridges. That focus makes the idea of razing I-787 a real possibility. It could fix a couple of big issues here in the Capital Region. For instance, people need jobs and a huge building project like tearing down and rebuilding the waterfront would create jobs. It would also open up our riverfront that is underutilized for recreation and industry.
There's a group called the Albany Riverfront Collective that is leading the charge to reimagine the Albany riverfront area.
I grew up outside Cincinnati and saw what a revitalized riverfront can do for a city. We went from a city that didn't use the riverfront for anything other than commercial industry to a place with restaurants, bars, riverboat casinos, and thriving nightlife. Right now the riverfront is basically cut off from the river. By tearing down the monstrosity that is known as I-787 it could be a real boon for the Capital Region.
....and while we're at it can we tear down the old Central Wearhouse?
According to the Times Union, there is a trend right now for cities that have a riverfront removing or rerouting highways. Cities like Buffalo, Syracuse, and Rochester are all in various stages of deconstruction.