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Bell Slip/Outer Harbor Plans Coming Into Focus

Plans for additional outer harbor improvements are under review by the City. The Planning Board will be considering plans by the Erie Canal Harbor Development Corporation to add three-quarters of a mile of paved, multi-use trail to the southern end of the Greenway Nature Trail. The path, including railing, pedestrian and bicycle amenities (i.e., bike racks, benches, trash cans, Adirondack chairs, etc.), will run north of the Terminals A & B property providing a connection to Fuhrmann Boulevard near the planned Queen City Landing Project/Small Boat Harbor.

The trail extension is one portion of a larger plan to bring new uses to about 10 acres of vacant land north of the Terminals. An urban bike park, seen as an interactive trail-scape for cyclists of all abilities discussed on Buffalo Rising in July, and events lawn area, and additional public parking are also planned.

Trowbridge Wolf Michaels Landscape Architects LLP is working on architectural and engineering plans for the public access and recreation improvements that include:

  • Create Visitor Center/Hub at Bell Slip with a modular installation, including pedestrian and bicycle amenities (i.e., bike racks, benches, trash cans, Adirondack chairs, etc.) to take advantage of the existing parking lot and views. Install electric service and/or renewable energy source for power requirements.
  • Redevelop the Michigan Pier into a multi-use flex space and build on the success of Wilkeson Pointe. Clear, cap, and re-grade the approximate eighth-acre site to accommodate Adult Playground, Workout Area, Ropes Course, foot/bicycle paths (doubling as x-country ski trails), cantilevered trail section (doubling as fishing pier), install railing and perimeter walkway along entire edge (doubling as setback), deck, beach, beer garden area, and adult games zone (i.e., horse shoes, bocce courts, pétanque, shuffleboard, volleyball, etc.). Install electric service and/or renewable energy source for power requirements. Include recreational fields, pollinator fields, seasonal floating docks, safety ladders and life rings.
  • Develop two “overlook” locations adjacent the Bell Slip. Design shall be such that birding, painting, photography, and astronomy (publicly desired activities) could occur at these locations.
  • Install comprehensive signage package from Gallagher Beach to Lighthouse based on the Erie County Shoreline Standards, including ancillary pedestrian and bicycle amenities (i.e., bike racks, benches, etc.) and landscaping features. Highlight key public locations as well as distances. Trail signage will be placed along NY Route 5 multi-use pathway (western side only) and the “Greenbelt” pathway along the Lake Erie edge, for a total of approximately four miles of signed trails.
  • Develop a mountain bike course(s) within a six-acre area bounded by the Bell Slip, Lake Erie and Fuhrman Blvd. Given the site’s features and proximity to existing paved pathways, a series of unpaved trails (each less than five miles in length) and a pump track would be constructed to take advantage of the mature trees and small gently-rolling hills.

The work is being funded with $5 million from the Buffalo Billion initiative.

The projects require a Special Use Permit from the City. The Planning Board is expected to review the concept plans on January 16 and the City Council is scheduled to consider the matter at its meeting on January 23.

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

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