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Skidmore College

In community talk, Tom Lewis will discuss impact of Saratoga's roads

January 24, 2014
North Broadway in 1908
North Broadway in 1908

In remarks to be delivered this Monday night, January 27, Tom Lewis, professor of English, will discuss ways the city’s road system has contributed to the city’s cultural and economic resurgence, factors that threaten it, and “how roads can enhance rather than detract from the experience of living in or visiting Saratoga Springs.”

Lewis will be the keynote speaker at the annual meeting of the Saratoga Springs Preservation Foundation, starting at 7 p.m. at the National Museum of Racing.

Route I-87 will be one focus of his talk. Lewis will explain why the Northway benefited Saratoga Springs while hurting Glens Falls and how Saratoga Springs might lose the benefits it has enjoyed.

Another focus will be the dangers of local traffic, including its impact on historic buildings and “the tyranny of traffic lights.”

Finally, Lewis will raise what he calls some “unthinkable” ideas, such as traffic circles and roundabouts, parking changes, and walking and bike lanes.

A leader in the city’s historic preservation effort, Lewis is the author of a number of books, including Divided Highways: The Interstate Highway System and the Transformation of American Life, which he also made into an award-winning PBS documentary. Lewis also is the author of The Hudson: A History and Empire of the Air and The Men Who Made Radio.

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