by Buck Quigley - posted 4:23 pm, November 3, 2008
I took this picture while floating through the Erie Canal locks in Lockport, October, 2006. I was helping a friend transport his sailboat to Rochester. During the trip I thought, “Wow, what a cool way to travel—why don’t more people use this thing?”
Today I read an interesting story in the New York Times by Christopher Maag. My brother-in-law pointed it out to me, with the observation that the French, Germans, and Dutch still use ’em—why not us?
If the canal becomes viable again, I suppose we’ll really have to update all those historical markers down by the commercial slip. Imagine if all those canal towns in upstate NY could cater to actual commerce again, rather than focusing mainly on historical tourism?
I reached out and took this picture of the stream in Medina that flows under the Erie Canal—an amazing piece of infrastructure.
Consider this paragraph from Maag’s story: The canal still remains the most fuel-efficient way to ship goods between the East Coast and the upper Midwest. One gallon of diesel pulls one ton of cargo 59 miles by truck, 202 miles by train and 514 miles by canal barge, Ms. Mantello said. A single barge can carry 3,000 tons, enough to replace 100 trucks.
Maybe if barges start using the canal again, the Thruway Authority will start making money from it again, and stop referring to it as a big problem for them to manage. And if they do that, then they’ll be able to lower Thruway tolls. Right?
Hey…a guy can dream.