War and Peace Bridge

Do It Yourself

We regret to inform you that demands on our time prevent us this week from providing our usual summary and comment of all things Peace Bridge (and a record-breaking week of news it was).  We hope to return next week with our standard format.  But for now, all we can do to set them up; it’ll be up to you to knock them down.

Good Luck!

Opinion (Since everyone’s got one, that’s where we’ll start)

Letter: Diplomacy helped end decades-long nightmare

Governor Andrew Cuomo is praised for his ‘diplomacy’ in effecting the purchase of the abandoned Episcopal Church Home in this letter from a grateful Rob Wallace,  President and CEO of the property.

Another letter (Peace Bridge impasse must be resolved soon) from a self-professed ‘insider’ blames Canada for the (five against five) impasse on the bridge authority board.

This letter (It’s no wonder progress is stalled on Peace Bridge) blames everyone.

And now, the professionals…

Another Voice: Despite stress, Peace Bridge’s governing structure is among the best

Don’t change a thing about the Public Bridge Authority, you won’t know what you’re in for, claims this editorial by Dylan S. McLean, an instructor in the Department of Political Science at the University at Buffalo.

Cuomo risks Peace Bridge progress

In this, his second column in a week on plaza expansion, Donn Esmonde, it appears, joins countless others to embrace pre-clearance as the ‘silver bullet’ solution to the Peace Bridge problem.

But there is no silver bullet solution to the Peace Bridge problem. No matter where the vehicles are inspected they still cross the bridge, and their toxic emissions will always remain a stake in the heart of a diverse and resilient Buffalo neighborhood.

Robbing Peter to Pay Paul

This Artvoice guest editorial surmises the call to dissolve the Public Bridge Authority and turn over control to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority may just be a ploy to gain a greater funding mechanism for the cash-strapped NFTA.

The Funnies (Editorial Cartoons)

This by Marquill in Long Island’s Newsday newspaper

And from Buffalo’s own Adam Zyglis

Now, the News

The Peace Bridge (What Else?) Sets Off a Cuomo-Canada War

Another New York Times article on our suddenly-popular conflict with Canada.

History & Numbers Don’t Support Gov. Cuomo’s Peace Bridge Claim

Investigative Post and WGRZ TV do the math in this video report that debunks Governor Cuomo’s claim that Canada has benefited disproportionately from Peace Bridge spending.

Tuesday: Radio 2 Ads, Peace Bridge War, Talkback Scones

Canada’s venerable radio news review As It Happens offers its coverage.  Listen to it here.

Peace Bridge divides US-Canadian board members

Coverage from the Jersey side in this article from NorthJersey.com

Canada and U.S. clash over Peace Bridge redevelopment

Canada’s Globe and Mail surveys the issue here.

Peace Bridge politics affecting U.S. trade and commerce?

WBFO radio report on Peace Bridge politics.  Listen to it here.

Congressman, Consul Work to End Peace Bridge Authority Dispute

In another WBFO report,  waterfront development guru, Rep. Brian Higgins, swoops in to meet–independently–with Canadian Counsul General John F. Prato in an attempt to improve cross-border relationships.  Listen here.  There was also an article in the Buffalo News, but at this moment it’s inexplicably unavailable to access online.

The Last Word

Comptroller’s review throws up road block to Peace Bridge Plaza development

In this article  from today’s Buffalo News, it’s a question of interpretation over whether the acquisition of the Episcopal Church Home by the Governor’s Empire State Development Corp. ignored  its required due diligence, as State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli claims, wading into the fray to delay the sale.

But a Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words

For your perusal…

We have two renderings to share with you this week.  This first rendering depicts the Peace Bridge plaza as it will look after the PBA completes its $40 million capital project, which encompasses a widening of the U.S. plaza approach deck, the reconfiguration of the plaza entrance and exit ramp, and the renovation and expansion of the commercial building. This work has already been approved by the PBA.

And this is a rendering of New York State’s proposal, which includes Governor Cuomo’s dream to transform the Episcopal Church Home site into a new 20,000 square foot “Duty Free Americas” store. Key features include:

  • Elimination of Baird Drive and the redirection of all Canada-bound traffic to the former Busti Avenue
  • A sidewalk connecting Columbus Parkway to the historic Hutchinson Chapel on the grounds of the ECH complex
  • A highway-grade traffic noise barrier wall, just under 1/2 mile in length
  • Additional truck and passenger vehicle inspection lanes
  • Ample truck and passenger vehicle parking for Duty Free shoppers
  • A tax-fee gas station (no more drives to the reservation; soon, you’ll only have to make a trip to Canada)

It’s important to keep in mind that this work is advanced because Congressman Higgins, Senator Schumer, and Governor Cuomo expect more traffic to come over our border.  There is no market demand driving these expansion plans, and there exists no business case demonstrating the need for this expansion whatsoever.  But, hey, what’s the harm?

Parting Shot

What’s wrong with this picture

This is a view of the Peace Bridge plaza from Front Park.  Maybe we should rename it “Affront”.