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Parkway removal can help revive Falls, N.Y.

Niagara Gazette, 3 August 1998

I wish to add my name to the long list of people who support the Niagara Heritage Partnership's proposal to remove the 6.5-mile section of the Robert Moses Parkway between Niagara Falls and Lewiston.

I Perhaps the proposal is akin to "spitting into the wind," as I was told a short time ago by a local politician; but to do and say nothing is to guarantee that this barrier to the natural wonders of the area will remain and continue to add to the general decay of the entire Western New York area.

I am a resident of Amherst and what is now called West Amherst because of what has become an explosion of commercial building in that town. The attitude seems to be that if a piece of land, has grass or trees on it, then there is something wrong, and what has come to be called "development" must take place whether it is needed or desired by the locals. Consequently, in 'Amherst, for example, we have industrial and office construction occurring while similar facilities lay vacant in Buffalo and Niagara Falls.

So it goes with the Robert Moses Parkway. We don't need this divided highway and, in fact, commercial traffic is prohibited on it. What we do need is to slow down and realize what we are doing to our environment. The mistake we made 40 years ago and which we continue to make year after year, the barrier we put between us and nature, has resulted in an unattractive eyesore that should be removed so at least the possibility of a rejuvenated Niagara Falls area can exist.

Perhaps some of your readers can remember when the city had a character of its own, when it was a pleasure to walk downtown to movies and restaurants or to the old, museum that smelled like a museum. It was possible, at one time, to hike along the gorge and, with the wonder of a child, look for fossils and arrowheads. I suspect that we cannot bring those days back, and it may be that we do not want to return to that exact past, but surely we must examine the future we are preparing for our progeny.

Concrete, needless construction (probably because the money is made available by the banks), aesthetically unappealing "early Niagara Falls Boulevard" architecture are not what I want now or in the future.

Here is something to think about: When friends from out of town come to visit and they want to see the falls, do you take them to the American or the Canadian side in order to view, this natural wonder? However you answer; the next question is "why?"

Donald K. Ferrick, Amherst


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Niagara Heritage Partnership

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Niagara Falls, New York 14302-1723