Interstate 290, also known as the Youngmann Expressway, or the Power Line Expressway, serves as the northern bypass of the city of Buffalo, and serves its function adequately as a suburban commuter highway as well as a shortcut for those wanting to bypass the City of Buffalo, or traveling to or from the Niagara Falls area.
While I-290 moves fairly well (has three acceptable lanes going in each direction), during times of rush hour, heavier traffic is typical and backups do occur. An additional lane of traffic between EXIT 3 (US 62) and the eastern end of I-290 at I-90 would alleviate this somewhat. Ramp distances between EXIT 3 and EXIT 4 (I-990) are too short, and sometimes drivers are forced to quickly scramble to a through lane.
Pavement conditions on I-290 are typical for Western New York, needing some work due to the heavy lake effect snows that occur.
Signage was replaced during the summer of 2003, so at least it is new and reflectorized. However, in typical NYSDOT Region 5 fashion, road names instead of towns are used like control cities, so at least John and Jane Traveler would know how to get to Sheridan Dr. (NY 324) or Delaware Ave. (NY 384), but not know how to get to places like Kenmore or North Tonawanda.
Aesthetics are typical for a suburban expressway. You get to see homes, businesses, power lines and some sound barriers, but it is rather bland.