War and Peace Bridge

A groundbreaking approach to segmentation

After decades of barely breaking wind, the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority finally broke ground this week on U.S. plaza improvements, and they did so on an historic day: the 86th anniversary of the official dedication of the Peace Bridge; although no one but us, it seems, noticed that fact (it was in none of the many media reports).

But who can blame them or any of the other interested parties flogging this project for forgetting their anniversary?  The Bridge Authority, Department of Transportation, Federal Highway Authority, Thruway Authority, Empire State Development Corporation, and New York State itself certainly have their hands full managing the grand construction stratagem in and around the plaza.  Its a wonder they can even keep from bumping into each other in their haste to expand their holdings and build a Duty Free store before anyone notices they’ve violated a court order against segmentation of plaza expansion to avoid the required environmental review.

Anyway, what’s the harm?

Broken Ground

Work begins on U.S. plaza expansion at Peace Bridge





With a little help from their friends–Lt. Gov. Robert J. Duffy and several camera-ready local politicians–the Public Bridge Authority broke ground on a project to widen the mouth of the Peace Bridge–the first of a projected $180 million worth of planned improvements to the plaza.

According to the script, the improvements are designed to increase commerce and improve air quality by reducing idling times on the bridge–as if only idling vehicles produce emissions, and moving vehicles can just cut their engines and coast.







Let them have their fun.

They’ve failed before.  They have years to fail again.

Read the Buffalo News article here.

Listen to WBFO radio report here.

Even Gov. Cuomo gets into the act here, as he and several other suits proclaim “Progress!”

Watch video coverage here (WKBW Ch 7), and here (WIVB Ch 4)

And wait…

Worth repeating

This notable opinion from author, educator, and leading urban planner John Norquist:







“The New York DOT seems to look at the City of Buffalo as a great place to drive trucks fast. They view it as a place to drive through. It has no value unto itself. They look at it like it’s an obstacle. Like it’s a rotten place that they just need to blow through as fast as possible. And they need to stop. Is it really important for somebody who wants to drive a truck from Hamilton, Ontario to Cleveland, to drive really fast through Buffalo? Is that Buffalo’s role?”

Who will you believe?

Parting Shot

Parkland or parking lot?

48 hours after groundbreaking, all manner of vehicles litter the landscape (see below).

It’s a fantasy (or much worse) to imagine any alterations to this space will facilitate commerce or mitigate a grave health threat.

There are only two solutions to the Peace Bridge problem: either take the entire neighborhood to accommodate the plaza, or remove the trucks. All else is folly.

If you believe otherwise, you’re a fool, a liar, or both: a politician.