Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation
State Plaza, Agency Building 1
New York 12238
was disappointing in the extreme to read that NYSOPRHP is considering
extending people-mover routes from the Reservation to Devil’s Hole
State Park along the Niagara Gorge rim.
are aware, of course, of the tremendous support among environmental,
conservation, and other groups in favor of four-lane removal of the
gorge section Robert Moses Parkway.
You also know we’ve been strongly advocating a gorge rim free
of inappropriate development. Disregarding
this, and ignoring requests to share the detailed rationale for the
current “pilot project,” your most recent announcement strengthens
the possibility that gorge top people-movers was an end goal from the
is unlikely that those heading state agencies stay awake nights thinking
of ways to destroy our natural heritage, but creeping incrementalism can
do the destruction without intent.
Gorge top people-movers will provide a more attractive package to
concessionaires and put a few more dollars into state coffers.
The cry for Whirlpool and Devil’s Hole
“amenity-centers/souvenirs/food courts” won’t be far behind.
Please consider the cautionary remark of M. Kukla, chairman of
the WNY affiliate of the Sierra Club, when they endorsed the idea of
removal, noting the parkway’s lack of character: it is “no different
than six miles of concrete anywhere else.”
Adding “trolleys,” in spite of their less environmentally
damaging propulsion systems, will detract further from the Olmsted
philosophy you profess to embrace.
Please let these considerations weigh heavily in the
decision-making process that might lead to the unwise extending of
people-moving vehicles along the gorge rim.