Niagara Gazette

Columns

December 2, 2012

GLYNN: Parkway plan ready

Niagara Gazette — At least part of the Robert Moses Parkway — an albatross around the neck of downtown Niagara Falls for decades — may be removed sooner than originally expected.

For a time it seemed that the announcement last May was just another effort to bolster the sagging spirits of those convinced that nothing would ever happen with the parkway issue.

U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer, D-NY., pledged earlier that he would strive to “fast-track” a long-delayed plan to remove the southern portion of the parkway from the John Daly Boulevard interchange to Main Street. Noting the initial removal work “mired in bureaucratic red tape for six years,” Schumer disclosed that he was urging the federal Department of Transportation to expedite the $15 million project to link downtown Niagara Falls with the nation’s oldest state park that attracts upwards of eight million annual visitors.

Regional officials of the state Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commission confirmed Friday that the final design report and environmental study for the “Riverway” project will be unveiled to the public starting Dec. 13 during an open house, from 3 to 8 p.m. at the Art Gallery in the Conference Center Niagara Falls.Consultants will be present to answer questions and the public may also submit written comments at that time. 

Copies of the design report also will be available for comment and review, from Dec. 13 to Jan. 31, at city hall, the Niagara Falls Public Library, Main and Lockport streets, and online at nysparks.com/inside-our-agency/public-documents.aspx. 

The senator said he is eager to replace the parkway portion with an at-grade road that will provide new waterfront access to the South End of Niagara Falls. Local stakeholders calling for a full removal of that parkway section contend it is critical for future economic development. Once it is taken out, the stakeholders say, private investments would be encouraged. 

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