Last night I did something I haven’t done in a really long time. I wrote a letter to the editor of our local paper. I also wrote a letter to our local state Assemblywoman.
I’ve taken the approach that if we’re going to live here for a while, we might as well contribute to the area and make it a better place.
The reason for my two letters is related to my “road geek”-ness. An expressway was completed in our area a couple of years ago. This expressway connects the two cities and was long overdue. In addition, it passes by a decommissioned Air Force base that has been converted into a business and technology park. Local government is doing everything they can to attract businesses and industry back to our area.
When the expressway was built, it basically replaced a two-lane state route and retained the same route number. The area is also home to one of the shortest interstates in the country, which provides access from the Thruway to a busy interchange.
Businesses looking to build or relocate look at a map and look for good access. Seeing an interstate shield guarantees to the prospective builder that it would be locating on a “prime” roadway. This approach has been used in New York’s Southern Tier with the redesignation of NY Route 17 as Interstate 86.
I proposed that we redesignate our local expressway with the number from that short interstate route, Interstate 790.
To many, it’s not a big deal. But to key players in industry and technology, it could be a make or break proposition for locating to this area. Let’s see if my idea catches on.