Saturday, December 5, 2009

Robert Moses Parkway and the Handicapped

We share those concerned about the handicapped should the Niagara Heritage Partnership proposal for parkway removal and trail creation along the top of the gorge between Niagara Falls and Lewiston become a reality. From very early on they considered where along the gorge, and how, access for the handicapped, elderly, and wheelchair accessibility could be maintained or created. Their proposal maintains vehicle access to five locations in the first four miles of the gorge north from downtown Niagara Falls. They are: at Schoellkopf Geological Museum, Whirlpool State park, Devil's Hole State Park, and at the Power Vista (both upper buildings and lower river dock access). Trails, too, would be open and the overlook just south of Whirlpool would be modified to make viewing from wheelchairs possible. Wheelchair access for those not depending on vehicle transportation would be possible at several points from city streets. We support plans for an elevator to the gorge bottom at Schoellkopf, which we're certain will confirm to codes pertaining to the handicapped.

Quite some time ago (February 28, 2000) we wrote to the Center For Independent Living in Niagara Falls and asked for help with information such as slope-gradients, surfacing, and so on for trails, so that we could recommend what is needed for wheelchair use and, at some future date, the wheelchair athlete, but received no response. We'd be very pleased if you would like to work with us in arriving at some creative solutions to the problems faced by the handicapped when they have the desire to enjoy being in nature, the environment we hope to extend. Please call 791-4611, or email if you are interested.

Bob Baxter
Conservation Chair

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