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Author Topic: NY 17/"I-86"  (Read 52936 times)

sparker

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #350 on: September 24, 2020, 07:23:55 PM »

We don't need a toll road. Leave 17 alone.
Formatting aside, the issue here is that 86, end to end, isn't really better than 84 to 81. Both are free. If you toll one, the other will be the primary route and you'll lose most of the traffic you were trying to extort.

Absolutely correct.  If one is going from anywhere in southern New England (e.g. Hartford on south) or the lower Hudson River Valley, and are going to where New Yorkers consider the wild, wild West -- e.g., anything west of Pittsburgh -- the more efficient route is 84 to 81 to 80 -- period.  The idea behind I-86 was simply to (a) attempt to enhance the flagging commercial fortune of the Southern Tier and (b) divert as much through E-W traffic as possible out of PA and into upstate NY and rake off whatever revenue could be raised that way.  Of course, as I've iterated previously, the "stem" of the whole I-86 concept was the segment west of I-81/Binghamton; the NY 17 Catskill section east of there was simply to provide a continuous Interstate path from both I-84 coming in from CT and the greater NYC region and feeding into Binghamton.  New Englanders from MA and north of there could simply feed into the I-86 "stem" from I-88 via Albany -- and allowing a few miles of saving via 88/86 vs. I-90 as well as the lack of tolls.  Since it's all but certain that the I-86 upgrades west of Binghamton will precede by a substantial period of time those east of I-81, the alternative of using the western I-86 is validated from both greater NYC via I-80/380/81 and upper New England via I-88.  The sole "missing link", as far as the composite Interstate network is concerned, is that portion of I-86/NY 17 from I-84 west to I-81; it's not likely that WB I-84 travelers will schlep all the way to Scranton only to shunt north along I-81 to Binghamton.  But if NY 17 is usable for that purpose (and the driver isn't concerned about the designation status) then that would work as well.  I remember well before the I-86 designation effort in 1998-99 there was a concerted effort to market NY 17 as "New York's own Autobahn" -- a scenic alternative to both the Turnpike and I-80 across PA (hey, it got me to drive its length back in '89) -- in other words, a PR effort to do much what the later Interstate designation was supposed to do.  But all along, the salient points of this corridor have been scenery/tourism and long-range shunpiking.  Any attempt to sell the whole original NY 17 corridor as an efficient regional alternative to I-80 west of NYC and I-84 out of southern New England is just plain silly -- it's just NY trying to rake off some road-related business; no more, no less.
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sprjus4

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #351 on: September 24, 2020, 09:01:32 PM »

^

Doesn't help that a majority of I-80 is 70 mph across Pennsylvania, whereas I-86 is only 55 / 65 mph. Not to mention I-80 is more direct.

Widen and straighten I-86 to be an 80 mph interstate through Upstate NY and maybe we'll talk.
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sparker

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #352 on: September 25, 2020, 01:58:50 AM »

^

Doesn't help that a majority of I-80 is 70 mph across Pennsylvania, whereas I-86 is only 55 / 65 mph. Not to mention I-80 is more direct.

Widen and straighten I-86 to be an 80 mph interstate through Upstate NY and maybe we'll talk.

Not that NYDOT has any intention to raise speed limits to Western levels, but most of I-86 between I-390 and Olean could readily be signed at 70-75mph and would be just about anywhere else.  Still, if I didn't mind the boredom of I-80 across PA and needed to drive from, say, Hartford to Ohio as quickly as possible, it'd be a 84/81/80 trip all the way.  Yeah, the terrain and towns along I-86 are, IMO, more varied and decidedly more interesting, but the drive is what I'd term moderately fast; no elapsed-time records are going to be set there.  At least it's free! 
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empirestate

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #353 on: September 25, 2020, 11:16:56 AM »

If NYSDOT doesn't want to work on the upgrade, why doesn't NYSTA turn I-86 from Binghamton to Woodbury into a toll road to fund construction?

Simple answer: it's just not that important. NYSTA has no jurisdiction or mandate to do anything whatsoever with I-86, and some amount of lawmaking would be needed to change that. I don't imagine anyone in state government is even aware of a problem in need of such a solution, and they're probably not misinformed.
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The Ghostbuster

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #354 on: September 25, 2020, 05:24:59 PM »

Interstate 86 (both present and future segments) probably doesn't need to be a tollway. I just hope someday the entire corridor between Interstates 90 and 87 are upgraded to full Interstate Standards. Of course, that could take decades or even centuries.
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seicer

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #355 on: September 25, 2020, 05:54:19 PM »

There are no justifications for tolling. Much of the I-86/NY 17 corridor have very low traffic counts until you get into the Binghamton metro or toward the eastern fringes - the latter mostly because of the Jewish camps and the Catskill Mountains. There are portions west of Binghamton and east of Binghamton that don't register 10,000 vehicles per day.

I'm still on board with designating I-86 along the corridor, but as a frequent traveler along the route, it really needs priority fixes closer to the eastern end: removing substandard ramps; adding full width shoulders; widening from I-84 to I-87. Hale Eddy can wait, but even still, there are some serious curvatures along that one particular stretch that deserve reconstruction.
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sbeaver44

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Re: NY 17/"I-86"
« Reply #356 on: September 27, 2020, 01:47:50 PM »

I agree with sparker in 86/17 being way more interesting than 80 in PA, along with the towns along it.  Coming from Harrisburg to Ohio I’ll take US 322 to 80 to save $$$ vs the Turnpike, but the Turnpike is 10 times more interesting to me than 80.
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