Elevating Erie project unearths possibilities beneath Erie Boulevard sprawl (Editorial)

Syracuse.com

Erie Boulevard could be any commercial strip in any Upstate New York city -- “ six lanes of traffic separated by a wide median and bordered by retail stores, fast-food restaurants, asphalt parking strips and weedy, litter-strewn lots.

Except it's not just any six-lane road. It was built on top of the Erie Canal. And all the canal did for 19th century America was to open the West to settlement and trade, make New York City the financial capital of the world, and put Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo on the map -- literally.