Niagara Gazette

Local News

May 10, 2013

RECURRING PROBLEM

Niagara Gazette — No matter how many times it's built up, it gets ripped back down again.

The "it" is a fence that separates a DeVaux neighborhood from the expressway that runs between the beautiful brick homes that fill the streets and the Niagara Gorge.

Robert McDonnell, a Lafayette Avenue resident, says he is sick of having to call the New York State Department of Transportation to repair the fence every time someone cuts it away. He has been involved in at least three reports to the DOT in the last year.

"I think the state has done a stellar job responding to and fixing (the fence) at great expense," McDonnell said.

He and other members of the neighborhood watch for the block see the breached fence as a safety hazard and a possible entry point for people looking to cause mischief or even engage in criminal activity, McDonnell said. 

"What we're trying to do is bring attention to safety issues and security issues," McDonnell said.

Susan Surdej, a public information officer for the Western New York office of the DOT, said the state is often called out to repair fencing on both the Robert Moses Parkway - particularly the stretch the runs from Findlay Drive to the city limit - and the LaSalle Expressway.

"The Moses is the one that we're out on most frequently," Surdej said. "We try to respond and we try to mend that as best we can."

The DOT spent about $8,000 repairing fences along the two roads - about $5,000 along the Robert Moses Parkway and about $3,000 along the LaSalle Expressway in 2012. 

Surdej said the DOT has alerted the New York State Park Police to the issue, but there are not many other options for preventing vandals from cutting down the fence.

"The only thing we can really do is ask the neighbors to be aware and remain vigilant to try to take notice when people are vandalizing the fence," Surdej said.

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