It may be too little too late in the eyes of preservationists, but Assemblyman Ryan and Senator Grisanti have announced legislation that would dissolve the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA) via a bi-partisan bill. For years there have been those who have questioned the Authority and its role in modern day Buffalo. If the authority was to dissolve, current State law would see the operations of the PBA transferred to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA). As it stands, it was never intended for the PBA to run in perpetuity, rather its role was originally set to expire in 2020 (or when the bonds were fully paid off). Ryan and Grisanti are moving for a different approach that would see the transferral of operations take place sooner rather than later.
“Public Authorities are too often arrogant, unaccountable and lack transparency. The PBA is all of the above and it is time that we shut down this dysfunctional authority. The people of Western New York deserve better,” said Senator Mark Grisanti.
“It has become clear that the PBA is no longer a functioning body, and should be dissolved,” said Assemblyman Sean Ryan. “It is time for a productive solution that will allow the NFTA to manage the Peace Bridge, something that fits within their core mission of administering public transportation.”
“I am extremely concerned over the current situation at the PBA,” said Senator George D. Maziarz ( R,I,C- Newfane), who also supports the dissolution of the PBA. “New York State, under the leadership of Governor Cuomo has shown its dedication to improving the US Plaza of the Peace Bridge. The lack of cooperation and respect from the Canadian members is very disappointing, especially considering the continued support by the US of the Canadian projects over the years. Action needs to be taken in order to allow for US progress to continue. The inability of the General Manager to provide a functioning board nor one that adequately and fairly represents all members of interest is of great concern. Therefore, I join my colleagues in calling for the dissolution of the PBA. The Peace Bridge greets tens of thousands of visitors each year, and the State is and will continue to do everything it can to ensure all are greeted with the best possible facilities and service.”