The Robert Moses Parkway from downtown Niagara Falls to the city's North End will be ripped out. The southern part of the road -- from the North Grand Island Bridge to Niagara Falls State Park -- will remain. (Photo: Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)
By Charlie Specht
New plans for the Robert Moses Parkway, announced this afternoon, are sure to be viewed as both complicated and controversial.
For those interested in all the details of the plans -- and for those on each side of the argument -- I have posted links to all three of the proposed designs below.
Keep in mind that all three designs include some common elements like removal of the parkway between Main Street and Findlay Drive, the redesign of Whirlpool Street as a park-like road, and a new multi-use pedestrian trail that ties into surrounding streets.
State officials they will get started on those elements even as the other details -- the future of the parkway north to Lewiston and to state parks along the way -- are figured out.
After another round of public comment, these three designs (of the original six) will eventually be whittled down to one (designs 1, 2 and 5 have been eliminated):
The Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls near the Whirlpool Bridge saw little traffic when this photo was taken in 2011. (Photo by Derek Gee / Buffalo News)
By Charlie Specht
The Robert Moses Parkway has been despised by the City of Niagara Falls since it was built in the 1960s.
But not all people on the Niagara Frontier want to see the roadway ripped out, as the state is considering. In fact, a small but vocal group of "parkway preservationists" in Lewiston want the road to remain as a direct north-south route for tourists coming from Niagara Falls.
That's just one reason the redesign of the parkway is a complicated issue, and one that likely won't be resolved for another few years.
Workers in 2011 found Love Canal-era chemicals in this sewer on Colvin Boulevard in Niagara Falls. Residents say those chemicals rushed into their homes and basements. (Photo: Charles Lewis/Buffalo News)
By Charlie Specht
Here's some audio and video to go along with Part I and Part II of our Love Canal series this weekend.
The first video, by Derek Gee, is of the Herr family worrying about the health and safety of their children. You get a sense of what the neighborhood really looks like. The second, by Charles Lewis, is a tour of Love Canal with Mike Basile of the EPA.
Also check out this audio of Dan Herbeck and I speaking this morning on WBFO about our series.
A commission business meeting will be held from 4 to 6:30 p.m., with the information session to follow from 7 to 9 p.m. The business meeting is also open to the public.
The information session will feature a presentation by A. Elizabeth Watson, of the consulting firm Heritage Strategies, on "approaches followed by other National Heritagea Areas," according to a press release.
The federal commission is tasked with drawing up a plan for a heritage area, aimed at boosting regional tourism.
Niagara University professor Thomas Chambers was recently elected chairman of the commission.
For more information and background on the commission -- including its members -- check out my previous stories: when the commission was seated, after it began meeting in December and when it held its second meeting last month.
11:43 a.m. update: The late-afternoon business meeting will include an official public comment period, and the evening session will be less formal while allowing for full participation by members of the public, according to Chambers.
CWM Chemical Services, the commercial hazardous waste landfill in Lewiston and Porter in northwest Niagara County, was the seventh biggest polluter in the state in 2009, according to EPA data. (Charles Lewis / Buffalo News file photo)
Charlie Specht started at The News as a college intern, joining the staff full time after his graduation from St. Bonaventure. A South Buffalo native, he also lived in Marilla and is in his second year covering Niagara Falls City Hall.
Bruce Andriatch, a proud Town of Tonawanda native and a graduate of St. Joseph's Collegiate Institute and Canisius College, is the suburban editor at The News. He has been writing a weekly column since 2006. Two days after his first column appeared, the October Storm occurred, plunging much of the region into darkness and despair. Read into that what you will.