Yesterday, new bridge designs came out in the media, while a pdf for the truck plaza proposed for the Columbus Park neighborhood has quietly made its way online.
Peace Bridge plaza. I support getting bridge traffic out of Front Park,
increasing the amount of parkland, improving traffic flow and thereby air
quality, protecting and buffering the neighborhood from the plaza, facilitating
the flow of traffic for WNY businesses and promoting tourism, investing
millions in the neighborhood surrounding the Peace Bridge, extending and
improving the Riverwalk, improving Niagara St. and Porter Ave, etc, etc.
to know about the new plaza in regard to the ramp, the duty free’s below-ground
square footage, the Wilkeson’s disappearance (shouldn’t it be pending?), and of
course, the concessions that were made for Front Park. I also want to
know how this will promote tourism, why those tourists need more plaza space,
and if the buffers will be view blockers. Also, if you’re making more
parking (and room for idling trucks), how will you improve air quality? Will
idling be regulated?
I also want
to know the breakdown of who pays for the bridge and how much, now that those
plans are floated out there. Did I hear $750M US?
No answer. Strategically, it makes more sense to satisfy an entity (Olmsted) with the restoration of parkland, rather than a small portion of the public such as the Columbus Park resident/truck plaza opponents. Rienas always stresses the gains to Front Park as proof of the PBA goodwill. But perhaps he doesn’t understand the irony of rebuilding a park that will be further separated from what’s left of the neighborhood by a truck plaza.
As for the plaza, there are questions about the functionality and the form. Not that it’s open to public discussion, but left to interpret the rendering on our own, the footprint left on the city seems like overkill. With functionality in mind, and the neighborhood as a host, maybe it’s time to shrink the tumor.