A reader of Buffalo Rising recently sent us along a petition to block any potential new public roadway that might extend from LaSalle Park to Lakeside Boulevard and further onto Erie Basin Marina and Canalside. The first thing that crossed our minds, was “Uh, oh… this is probably going to get ugly.” That’s because there has always been a bit of contention between the Waterfront Village residents and LaSalle Park when it pertained to concerts and events.
On one side, you have homes that have been built directly adjacent to the park, so what goes on in the park directly impacts the residents. At the same time, it’s a public park, which means that if you live there, you’re going to have to expect to deal with some park-related issues – it’s the nature of the beast.
Way back in the day, Waterfront Village was constructed with no public right-of-way along with water, which has always been a point of contention with people who don’t live there and who want more access along the waterfront. There’s not much that anyone can do about that these days, because the apartments were built right up to the edge of the water.
Now that the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation has made a huge monetary commitment to reinvigorate LaSalle Park, there are talks of creating a flow for visitors, since there is essentially only one way in and out of the park, utilizing Porter Avenue. But apparently there are talks of creating direct access from the park (via DAR Drive or Amvets Drive – as it is currently configured), to Waterfront Village, where drivers could then access Erie Basin Marina and Canalside. Obviously the notion is going to cause an uproar with the residents who have become accustomed to living life without cars (other than their own), which is why we are seeing this petition circulate.
In the end, we decided to post the petition because it is relevant to the conversation, but even more importantly, we want to know what readers think about all of this. Should LaSalle Park remain a closed loop, or should it be opened up to vehicles looking to get from Point A (the park) to Point B (Canalside)?