Image by dougtone via FlickrRemoval of the Robert Moses Parkway is about creating something unique. And, restoring the landscape makes economic, environmental, and ecological sense.
Some may not want the road removed for self-serving reasons, but to deliberately ignore the socioeconomic, quality of life facts does everyone in this struggling region and economy a major disservice.
Old Growth Forest, the one cut in two by the Parkway when it was built.
The principals guiding our Niagara Falls National Heritage Area and the Niagara River Greenway list the natural environment first, yet it is the last one being addressed. I expected better, great things, from both Commissions, from their consultants, from people I elected.
Compromise, as many propose it, is nothing more than politics. It clouds the scioeconomic impacts, benefits and opportunities for our residents. Those opportunities can infuse billions into our economy, keep our young people here through career employment, keep tourists here longer, and protect our botanical wealth, our visual and natural heritage.
Those are all of the issues I’ve heard lamented since I’ve lived here, 26 years.
When was the last time anyone asked you to create or do something great? I'm asking. I’m asking you to create something magnificent with the Niagara Gorge Rim. I'm asking each of you to stand up and actually fight for our City. I’m asking you to read the articles and website listed below.
We could go from being the Love Canal disaster story to an ecological and economic innovation, a rebirth, just through the removal of a section of redundant road. It would lift our city from its tainted Love Canal identity and transform us into a leader in ecological restoration. Removal and restoration would advance a green economy, the trajectory of the future happening around the globe.
Removal and restoration are significant. It’s never been done in the east." Those statements are from a woman Wild Ones Niagara brought to the City two weeks ago, an ecological restoration expert, retired from the Federal Highway Administration. Everyone wins with Removal and restoration, including State Parks.
Here are some facts and resources.
If you haven't seen Fading in the Mist. Ask co-producer Bob Borgatti, a Niagara Falls National Heritage Area commissioner, to screen it. It changed my perception about the waterfall and the city.
To learn about the benefits of nonmotorized trails, see the Rails-to-Trails website. It includes a Federal funding source:
Here are three articles detailing what others have done with road removal and one about the benefits of Urban Parks:
http://www.planetizen.com/node/48838 How an inner city freeway disappeared.
http://www.planetizen.com/node/45909 Freeway Teardowns A Prudent Choice
http://www.planetizen.com/node/35185 Top Freeway Teardowns
http://www.planetizen.com/node/45380 Reviving Struggling Urban Areas with Parks.
We can become world recognized leaders, ho hum followers, or remain as the uninformed status quo, getting out of everyone's way, run over, another missed opportunity.