War and Peace Bridge
It was another lazy week for the Peace Bridge in the press, as the actors worked behind the scenes (and, they hope, under the radar) to coordinate “plans” for plaza expansion. And with multiple government agents working “independent” of one another, that’s quite a tactical endeavor.
The Department of Transportation held its first (,we hope, and not only) meeting on its Gateway Improvement Project to the Peace Bridge Plaza with plentiful backup from government employees of various aligned agencies. Several interested citizens–“consulting parties”–also attended and contributed a large body of relevant comment questioning the nature of this highly suspect enterprise. How the DOT will react remains to be seen.
And a brilliant environmental attorney raised the issue in the press with an opinion piece in two publications challenging the legality of this covert expansion.
They can’t hide. We won’t let them.
But will Justice prevail? We’ll get back to you on that.
Department of Selective Compliance
Peace Bridge Expansion – Deja Vu With an Episcopalian Twist
In this Artvoice commentary (an abbreviated version of which appeared here in the Buffalo News under the title “Required Peace Bridge environmental review remains undone”), noted environmental law authority Arthur J. Giacalone indicts the Public Bridge Authority and all its allied government conspirators for their “stratagems to avoid the required governmental review.”
You see, back in 2000, Justice Eugene M. Fahey:
wisely ruled that “the bridge and the adjoining plaza with the connecting roadways are a single, inseparable development entity” in terms of traffic flow and impacts on the neighboring residential community, and ordered the PBA and State to examine the cumulative impacts of the proposed bridge construction and the related plaza and connected roadways projects.
Well, the Authority complied–and failed. Now they’re back, but in a “magical” reformation: embodied within the efforts of separate government entities, all working on their own projects and all, coincidentally, occurring on the same landscape in and around the Peace Bridge plaza.
What a coincidence.
Or is it a big fat lie?
Daring to Dream
The Peace Bridge, our waterfront, and billion dollar dreams
In this Buffalorising post, “new urbanist” Matthew Ricchiazzi of Change Buffalo PAC weaves an enlightened progressive solution to the Peace Bridge problem into the larger discussion of waterfront development. Ricchiazzi writes:
Imagine if our politicians were willing to take a radically aspirational approach to the Westside. Rather than expanding the Peace Bridge’s American plaza, we should eliminate it entirely and fully embrace shared border management. Imagine filling in the Black Rock Channel, no longer used for industrial transport, and replacing it with a vast waterfront park descending from Prospect Hill. Imagine downgrading the I-190 into a waterfront parkway, and fully connecting it to the urban fabric.
…trucks should be banned from the Peace Bridge and they should be routed over a new crossing… . The Peace Bridge should be oriented around cultural and recreational tourism – the type of bridge that is conducive to undergrads and bicyclists’ stumbling home from Canadian beaches.
Land of the Giants
When you stop dreaming and wake up to reality, you can watch as wide-loads migrate through the heart of the city (Amherst and Grant Streets in Black Rock), to and from the Peace Bridge and their ultimate destinations–somewhere else.
We need more of these here; so finally Buffalo can assume its rightful identity: not Gateway, but Doormat.