Fill in the Canal?

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Fill it in?

Yes, get rid of it.
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No. Keep it.
Fill in parts of it.
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Total votes : 3

Fill in the Canal?

Postby Matt » Tue Oct 02, 2012 9:15 am

Excerpts from a recent opinion in the D&C:

Either fix the Erie Canal or fill it in

The Erie Canal isn’t the economic engine it once was. A 45 percent increase in truck tolls along the Thruway may be imposed by the Thruway Authority in order, in part, to subsidize the state Canal System. Even last weekend's canal conference, held in Oswego, is bi-annual, instead of annual.

These stories are proof the canal isn’t working or paying for its $100 million operational cost anymore and it's time to either make the canal’s existence economically sustainable or fill it in.

While we can no longer expect a large volume of commercial traffic using this waterway, we should be seeing a large volume of overnight tourist vessel traffic traveling between two of the world's greatest vacation destinations, Niagara Falls and New York City. But we’re not.

What do you think? Can NYS resurrect the canal as a tourist attraction? Hasn't it already tried? Would you take a multi-day cruise along the canal?
Is the canal vital to the economies or quality of life for canal-side communities?

Personally, I love a stroll by the canal. And a lot of the canal-side communities have developed waterfront business districts (Spencerport, Fairport, Pittsford just to name a few. But I have never boated on the canal. I know of a few operations that I could depart on, but they seem far from luxury, and other than being a local history geek, what do they have to offer? The canal is a trench, it doesn't really offer much in the way of views.
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Re: Fill in the Canal?

Postby hobkyl » Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:54 pm

I surely don't hold the answers as to how to fund it's continuation. I grew up in Newark, a town that was built on the banks of the canal. A rich history for the town like many others was provided by the waterway. As it became obsolete as a means to move goods, recreation took over. My family boated on it many summers, my friends and I used to bridge jump, and every winter snowmobiles and ice fisherman alike took to the ice. I have many fond memories of the canal. Nowadays, though it's rare that you see a boat cruising along it. I haven't seen ice fisherman or snowmobiles riding wide waters in a few years either. It just doesn't seem to offer much and as you said it's a trench with not much scenery.

It would be disappointing to see it filled in, but at the same time if it's not serving a purpose then it is nothing more than a liability, one that is being passed on to motorists.
“There’s an inconsequentiality to our lives that living in the wilderness shows up. Mountain are real, they set their limits, they set ours. They expose us, make us vulnerable and strong at the same time. “
--Alison Wat

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