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Grandeur is in vista, not in road beside it

Niagara Gazette, 23 March 1998

Highways have been a part of our landscape for years. They've been a part of our passion for progress.

The mass construction of roads, freeways, expressways, and turnpikes throughout the 1950s and 1960s symbolized our drive into the future as America "took to the highway" and saw the "USA in their Chevrolet." The roads gave us freedom, the chance to see the country as we never saw it before.

Today, the image of driving down the open road with your cares disappearing in the rear view mirror is still a romantic one. I know it's one that I cling to, though I doubt that I'll ever experience it fully. But sometimes, we have to let go of romanticized views for the reality of what is.

The Robert Moses Parkway represents the past. Its day as a symbol of progress is over. It has encroached on the natural beauty of the area long enough. For too many years, it has cut off scenic vistas from residential neighborhoods and taken away green space. Its worth as a convenience highway has been rendered inconsequential by virtue of what it has taken from us: The grandeur is not in the parkway, as some have suggested, but in the nearby gorge that the parkway aesthetically destroys.

If citizens and developers fully support the "Niagara: The Park" concept as they have indicated, then it is time to remove the Robert Moses Parkway.

Removing it will provide a greater legacy in terms of the reclamation and preservation of the area than can ever be gained by maintaining this overdesigned and under-utilized parkway.

Paul Lamont, Lockport


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