The highways are coming down. It’s no longer a question of “if” but “when?”
Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Albany are all reconsidering the legacy of their urban highways—and coming up with plans to ameliorate the catastrophic consequences these hulking piece of misplaced infrastructure have laid upon their communities. With President Biden’s historic Transportation & Infrastructure bills looming in the background, the time is right for such a community-led reconsideration. How can we finally flip the script and redesign our cities’ landscapes not for the private automobile traveling at 65 MPH, but for people, greenspaces, and equity?
In this panel, we’ll hear about the national movement to dismantle and redesign urban highways from Ben Crowther of the Congress for New Urbanism and manager of CNU’s Highways to Boulevards and Freeways Without Futures initiatives. We’ll also hear from representatives from each of the four Upstate NY metro regions about their journey towards urban highway transformation. Each city is in a different stage of their life cycle on this journey and will share their lessons learned, breakthroughs, and pathways forward.
Opening remarks by Assemblymember Pat Fahy.