Niagara Gazette


September 2, 2007

TOURISM: As the season draws to close, Niagara Falls officials are left wondering what needs fixing



“Things like this limit our potential,” he said. “We’ve got some major issues dealing with cleanliness to address.”

Lasting impressions

As visitors exit Niagara Falls State Park along Prospect Street they’re treated to blooming flowers, clean sidewalks and precise signage.

That’s not the case once they step off the state’s property and head east through the West Pedestrian Mall, Bradberry believes.

“This is my biggest headache,” he signed.

A quick walk through the strip between Rainbow Boulevard and the state park reveals numerous examples of what Bradberry calls “aesthetically poisonous.” Overturned plastic furniture used for resting places, dirty canvases covering up equipment, coolers meant for inside use sitting in rain puddles, closed down vendor booths in the middle of the day and even more weeds popping up from the ground are a few things that caught his eye.

“This area has so much potential and, right now, it’s just so tacky,” Bradberry said. “Does this look like a fun place to come to?”

According to Cleveland native Robert Spelling, a few unsightly areas and scattered trash wasn’t going to ruin his weekend trip to Niagara Falls.

“I think most people come to see the falls anyway and aren’t focused so much on whether everything else is perfect,” he said Thursday afternoon.

His friend and traveling partner, Christine Balik, couldn’t disagree more.

“It’s depressing when you see half of the stores boarded up and everything in such bad shape,” she countered. “It’s not the kind of impression I would want to give if I lived here.”

Louis Antonacci has a contract with the city to operate the vending businesses along the walkway. Bradberry said he’s looking into strengthening the city’s vendor codes in an attempt to create some consistency at the pedestrian mall, like having vendors operate specific hours throughout the week and not just close down when the crowds are light.

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