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Newly Refurbished Pat Sole Park is Now Maintained by the PBA

Pat Sole Park, located at 888 Columbus Parkway near the Peace Bridge, has been given a welcome makeover. Work got underway last fall on the park, which is now being maintained by the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA). In order to get the park back up to snuff, the PBA spent $300K on park improvements – new trees, metal fencing, playground. park benches, garbage cans, plantings, walkways, picnic tables, etc.

I stopped by the park to see the difference, and came away quite impressed with the new aesthetics and amenities. But don’t take my word for it, just ask neighbors who are actually utilizing the park for the first time. Upon my visit, there were around a number of families on the grounds. Some kids were swinging on the new swing sets, while accompanying family members were simply sitting on the new park benches enjoying the new surroundings. 

The only issue at hand currently is the speeding traffic that is located on Niagara Street. Fortunately, the street will soon benefit from traffic calming measures. Once this section of Niagara Street is downgraded into more a boulevard, this park will become even more appealing. In its current spruced-up shape, Pat Sole Park reminds me of a neighborhood park that one might find in bustling NYC.

The metal gates help to ensure that there is little chance that a kid might run out into the street. Parents appear to be very relaxed, just letting their young ones run around freely. I also likes the mix of people at the park. Even the refugee population has found this new neighborhood park/playground ideally situated.

Formerly, this parcel of land didn’t even look like a park. It was somewhat foreboding and barren. Today it is lush and vibrant – a complete turnaround. The park has now become a welcome asset along Niagara Street.

On Saturday, May 20 (10am), area elected officials, neighborhood residents, and directors and executives from the PBA will celebrate the reopening of Pat Sole Park (located at the intersection of Massachusetts Avenue and Columbus Parkway).  

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at The Hotel @ The Lafayette, and the Madd Tiki Winter Luau. Other projects: Navigetter.

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  • eagercolin

    For heaven’s sake, “boulevard” doesn’t mean a small, quiet street. Quite the opposite. A street can’t be downgraded into a boulevard, unless it was originally a highway.

    Also, this — “The only issue at hand currently is the speeding traffic that is located on Niagara Street” — is pretty rich considering the increased rates of asthma caused by traffic on the PBA’s bridge. Not an issue, apparently.

  • Kathleen Mecca

    The revitalization of Pat Sole Park along with the 2016 PBA Landscape Initiative are two examples of how the bridge authority and the host community can effectively work together. However, the most dangerous issue impacting the environmental health of residents continues to be the daily unregulated volume of air pollution eminating from Peace Bridg truck traffic. This long standing crisis remains unresolved but it’s still on the table. The Columbus Park Association continues to work tirelessly to convey the urgency of this public health epidemic.

  • Jeff Brown

    The glorified on-/off-ramp you’re talking about is Busti, not Niagara. The Niagara Street conversion won’t do anything to slow traffic entering/exiting the 190 there.

    Also, the park was very much in use before any improvements. The renovation is fantastic, but let’s not pretend it was “foreboding and barren” before the PBA came along.

    “But don’t take my word for it, just ask neighbors who
    are actually utilizing the park for the first time. Upon my visit, there
    were around a number of families on the grounds.”

    Unfortunately, we don’t have much choice but to take your word for it. None of the “around a number of families utilizing the park for the first time,” nor any of the people who live around it, are quoted here. How do we know they were there for the first time unless we ask? How do they feel about it? How’d they feel before? Any further improvements they’d like to see? Does this change how they do things in the neighborhood?

    I guess you missed us and the neighborhood’s worth of kids using this park in years past, when it was still an inhospitable wasteland.