Region should consider plans to reuse Skyway

The News’ recent editorial calling for removal of the Skyway goes overboard. There are two separate issues here, and both need to be considered on their merits. Replacing the Skyway as a traffic artery is one. The other issue is what to do with the Skyway structure if and when it’s replaced by another river crossing. Demolish it? Or convert it to new uses, such as an elevated linear park (bolder than the High Line in New York City) with a restaurant at the top and perhaps other commercial destinations? Such reuse needs to be considered as a matter of common sense and for compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act.

The News’ nasty comments about the Skyway’s aesthetics are inappropriate. Some of us like its curves, don’t see it as blocking waterfront vistas and love the gorgeous views of the lake and city from atop the Skyway. Last summer, an out-of-town friend was on the waterfront with me and expressed his distaste for our grain elevators, which he saw as ugly monstrosities occupying land that could be used for better purposes. Take ’em down was his thought. Eye of the beholder? Think about it.

Bottom line: Alternatives to Skyway demolition need serious consideration. The Skyway is an irreplaceable platform that offers unparalleled views. Various reuses should be considered on their merits. The pros and cons of reuse need to be reviewed along with the pros and cons of replacing the Skyway as a traffic artery.

Raymond C. Vaughan