Niagara Gazette


March 9, 2013

GUEST VIEW: Parkway study shouldn't be so easily dismissed


Niagara Gazette — That he even thinks that this issue should be largely resolved by local comment is revealing; we are not discussing the proposed enlargement of a Walmart parking lot here, where only those “in the neighborhood” get to have a say — we are trying to determine how to remedy the desecration of a world-renowned landscape by a redundant highway, how this geological feature unique in North America, carved out by the retreat of the last ice age, can be best preserved and ecologically restored for future generations.

So Maziarz and the rest of guys should stop trying to sell us this version of “keep the parkway.” They know it’s bogus. Maziarz should stop telling the tale of his going “door-to-door in the city of Niagara Falls, particularly in the DeVeaux neighborhood,” listening to thoroughly debunked complaints about “air quality issues” and traffic jams on Lewiston Road; both Dick Soluri and Maziarz should stop repeating the parkway is crucial for Lewiston’s survival when there’s absolutely no evidence in support of that, zero. Mark Thomas should stop behaving as if providing “transportation,” ie, keeping the parkway, has suddenly become the most important part of the State Parks mission; he should stop rhapsodizing about the land added to State Park holdings south of Findlay while ignoring the damage caused by the parkway north of it, while he also ignores the fact that the Niagara River Corridor has been designated a Globally Significant Important Bird Area. (Will tour busses be driving on that “multimodal” gorge rim trail, incidentally?)

Dyster should stop asking that people be “willing to postpone their disagreements with what happens north of Findlay into the next phase of the discussion.” When he’s willing to successfully work to re-visit Phase One so that it totally removes the parkway from downtown to the City Line at Devil’s Hole, I’ll postpone my disagreements. Christopher Schoepflin, president of USA Niagara Development, should stop the magical thinking that makes him talk about the three options as if they’re compatible, while simultaneously extolling the virtues of north south “connectivity” to Lewiston and Youngstown.

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