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Niagara Falls Seeks New Identity - Without the Robert Moses Parkway | Congress for the New Urbanism

Niagara Falls Seeks New Identity - Without the Robert Moses Parkway

Caitlin Ghoshal's picture

The Niagara Gorge Rim is home to miles of stunning scenery and breathtaking natural features, attracting millions of visitors each year. Only there’s one thing in the way of the view: a freeway.

In August 2012, CNU called Niagara Falls' Robert Moses Parkway one of the next "Freeways Without a Future." This week, Mayor Paul Dyster and the City of Niagara Falls became one step closer to removing this obstacle to their waterfront and claiming an ecotourism identity. State Parks officials agreed to remove at least two-miles of the underutilized infrastructure along the Niagara Gorge rim, from downtown Niagara Falls to Center Street in Lewiston. The Buffalo News reports, "The move would connect city streets – currently walled off by fences and guardrails – to the breathtaking but largely untapped asset that is the gorge, raising property values and potentially saving neighborhoods that are slipping into decay."

In a study on the Parkway commissioned by the non-profit organization Wild Ones, the Niagara River Greenway Commission, and the City of Niagara Falls, edr Companies found that freeway removal would prompt a $1.4 million increase in property tax revenue. Ecotourism would also increase, "If a mere 5% of tourists visiting public parks were to extend their stay by one night...this would contribute approximately $4.5 million to the local economy each year." In addition to the tangible benefits of removal, Niagara region residents will also gain invaluable quality of life from restoring the Parkway to miles of green space. CNU applauds Mayor Dyster and removal advocates for their tireless effort to protect their great natural asset and their region.

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