By Sen. George Maziarz
Niagara Gazette — Lost in the shuffle over the recent developments with regard to the Robert Moses Parkway is the fact that the public still has an important role to play in the highway’s future.
Interested citizens can help define exactly how the redevelopment of the Niagara Gorge Corridor takes place. The state Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation is soliciting public comment on three design alternativesfor the Robert Moses Parkway. A description of these choices — designated as Alternatives 3, 4, and 6 — has been presented in a new draft scoping report.
Both the full 210-page draft scoping report and a succinct summary of this document are available on my website, maziarz.nysenate.gov. These documents feature colored maps, narrative descriptions, project cost estimates, and information for the public about how to submit comments and questions.
Hard copies of the draft scoping report are also available for review at various locations in the region: Niagara Falls City Hall, Earl Brydges Library, Lewiston Town Hall, Lewiston Village Hall, Youngstown Free Library, and the Niagara Region State Parks office at Prospect Point.
I encourage anyone interested in the future of the Robert Moses Parkway to not only review these materials, but to make your opinions known to State Parks.
The various alternatives have some similarities: removing the four-lane highway from Main Street to Findlay Drive, transforming Whirlpool Street into a “park road,” a multimodal trail network, and the restoration of native landscapes in several areas, and removing the Whirlpool Overpass.
However, there are some key differences in the design patterns. I support Alternative 3. Key elements distinguishing this plan would feature the partial reuse of the Robert Moses Parkway in the city of Niagara Falls, and the conversion of the parkway’s two northbound lanes into a park road from Findlay Drive all the way to Center Street in Lewiston.
I think it is crucial to maintain road connections between Niagara Falls and Lewiston, as Alternative 3 does. This is in the best interest of the residents of the region and the tourists who come here from all over the world. From among the various plans Alternative 3 also presents the lowest impact to adjacent neighborhoods and the highest rating from public response forms received to date.
Citizens may have other thoughts or questions about the plans, and I encourage them to speak up. The official public comment period concludes on March 20, so time is of the essence. Written comments can be sent to: Parsons Transportation Group; ATTN: Mr. Thomas Donohue; 40 LaRiviere Dr., Suite 350; Buffalo, NY 14202.
Email remarks can be sent to: Moses.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lastly, you can always share your thoughts with me, via maziarz.nysenate.gov and I will be happy to forward them to the state parks office.Sen. George Maziarz represents the 62nd Senate District.