Niagara Heritage Partnership opposes plans to convert the Whirlpool
International Bridge to commercial truck traffic, which would handle
between 300 to 500 vehicles per hour over the Niagara Gorge.
concerns are as follows:
fumes would be emitted into urban neighborhoods, where the burden of
lung diseases and other illnesses related to air quality is already
excessive, as documented by Dr. Jamson Lwebuga-Mukasa (MD, PhD) of
the Medical School at the State University at Buffalo.
Additionally, recent studies by the EPA reveal the harm done
by diesel exhaust is more serious than previously believed.
noise of these vehicles would be continual in these same
numbers of commercial trucks on a dedicated highway would have the
effect of fragmenting the city of Niagara Falls.
exhaust fumes, noise, and visual impacts would also seriously
detract from the natural environment of the Niagara Gorge.
National Park Service classifies the State Park at the Falls as
“threatened/endangered,” primarily because of the visual
commercial contamination of the Canadian environment and skyline.
The truck bridge proposal is an extension of this condition.
Niagara region is in the process of pursuing a National Heritage
Area designation, initiated by Senators Clinton and Schumer and
Congressman LaFalce. The truck bridge proposal is contrary to this
certification and preservation honor.
volume commercial truck traffic would seriously detract from the new
train station for arriving tourists planned by the City of Niagara
Niagara River and its shorelines have been designated a Globally
Significant Important Bird Area by the Audubon Society and a host of
other organizations international in breadth.
This first international IBA is important to migrating and
other birds: the endangered Peregrine falcon nests in the gorge; the
Bald Eagle is a frequent visitor.
An additional commercial truck bridge in this location would
introduce levels of noise, visual, and toxic pollution harmful to
this natural environment.
Niagara Heritage Partnership proposal for a more natural gorge rim
landscape with hiking and bicycling trails would also be seriously
compromised by this truck traffic.
Successfully marketing this area as a natural environment for
ecotourists would be near impossible.
fifty organizations (list available at www.niagaraheritage.org)
currently support the Niagara Heritage Partnership proposal.
While the Partnership does not speak for these groups in this
matter, it seems highly unlikely that any of them would support the
economic success for private investors in the truck bridge idea is
negatively related to the well being of Niagara region residents. The higher the number of trucks, the more deleterious
the effects for residents.