Niagara Gazette

Local News

January 22, 2013

City officials target state park section of Robert Moses Parkway

Niagara Gazette — A former city manager is calling for the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to completely remove the section of the Robert Moses Parkway that runs from John B. Daly Boulevard to the Rainbow Bridge.

During the 4 p.m. work session of Tuesday's city council meeting, Harvey N. Albond, who sits on state park's Niagara region commission, said when he was the acting director of planning for the city of Niagara Falls in the 1960s he was told by then Mayor E. Dent Lackey to "get rid of that Chinese wall."

Albond asked the city council to reject the state parks plan to have low-speed "riverway" where the parkway now runs and instead to call for state parks to divert all traffic into the city.

"I see no use for this road other than to bypass the city," Albond said.

Angela Berti, a spokesperson for state parks, did not return calls seeking comment Tuesday evening.

Albond, who worked as a city planner for decades and served as city manager twice, said he has great respect for the engineers who are working on the roadway's redesign and is a fan of plans to remove embarkments, landscape the southern section of the park in a manner consistent with the principles of the park's designer Fredrick Law Olmsted and to build pedestrian pathways meant to promote foot traffic.

Diverting traffic headed to the park to pass through the city will promote economic development downtown, Albond said.

"Olmsted had it right," Albond said. "The village can provide."

A resolution calling for state parks to include signage and outlets to the city off of the traffic circle proposed as part of the plan was included in this week's council agenda. That resolution, put forth by all council members, was amneded to reflect Albond's call for the section of the parkway beyond John B. Daly Boulevard to be removed during the council meeting work session. The measure passed unanimously.

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