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O Skyway, my Skyway!

Apparently… ’tis the season to begin ramping up on the Skyway discussion again! Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in. Well, not really. I knew the debate was far from over.

Anyways.. Business First reports on Congressman Higgins’ “impassioned plea” to the Erie County Legislature to back him in his desire to remove the Skyway and “retrieve” $158 million that Albany just plain forgot to send us. Please hold while I ROTFLMFAO. Ok… first of all, the Erie County Legislature (or any member of the county’s governmental structure, really) has as much influence in Albany as a tuna sandwich. Higgins is best off arming himself with his press corp and swinging the Bank of Albany to pick up a few more bucks in hush money from the big boys. Wait… actually, that probably is what he’s doing. When all the under 10 Democrats are otherwise booked for a Reynolds presser, grab the next best thing – the embattled Erie County Legislature! They must cry a lot too, especially when they haven’t had their nap.

Higgins repeated the standard diatribe… “The reason why the outer harbor hasn’t been developed is because you can’t get to it,” Higgins said. “No one is going to invest a dime there until you address the access issue.” Um… no. Actually, the previous sentence in the article explains exactly why the outer harbor hasn’t been developed: “The outer harbor property is in the process of being shifted from the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority to the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp., a move Higgins helped negotiate and one that may put development efforts there on a fast track.” Yes, you see… no land available = no development. Land available = development. Doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Higgins also trotted out his buddy Norquist again. Milwaukee… Park East… yadda yadda yadda. It’s all been said before, and it’s still not relevant here. And again, the amount of money needed to maintain the Skyway is announced – $25 million in “the coming years” – yet I still have not heard one figure as to how much a series of lift bridges costs to staff and maintain.

I think if the good Congressman can somehow manage to swipe any portion of that $158 million from Albany’s sock drawer there’s a few other better uses for it. Want to demolish something? I know a few toll booths that could use the love. Or that would cover getting rid of some 10,000 abandoned houses. Or we could do some cleanup around Bethlehem Steel and get some useful land back.

Oh hell… maybe they could just return some of that to the pockets it came from? Now that’s tilting at windmills, and those are a little further down Route 5.

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