Artvoice: Buffalo's #1 Newsweekly
Home Blogs Web Features Calendar Listings Artvoice TV Real Estate Classifieds Contact
Next story:
Previous story:

Demolish the Peace Bridge

Buffalo and Detroit have a lot in common. They’re both big Great Lakes cities that have become shadows of their former selves. They share similar socioeconomic problems, similar planning problems, similar fiscal issues, and both harken back to the days of America’s industrial heyday. 

But while Detroit is developing an image for being the heart of the American auto industry and making no excuses for it, Buffalo is instead relying on a more effete reliance on architecture, places that “matter”, and emotion to build its image in the 21st century.  It’s the difference between these two videos: 

 

Where one is brash and unapologetically so, the other is maudlin. While one looks forward, the other looks backwards. It is as stark a contrast between visions for rebranding similarly situated cities as you’ll find. 

It’s time to demolish the Peace Bridge. Between Detroit and Niagara County, they’ve got it all under control. 

For the “looking forward” crowd in Buffalo, one of the bigger embarrassments is the 20 year story of the Peace Bridge. Our cross-border traffic with Canada isn’t only important for importing and exporting goods, it’s somewhat important for travelers whom Buffalo is seeking to bring in from Canada to visit museums, eat at restaurants, and see architecture. The fact that – 20 years on – the Peace Bridge remains today on the American side almost exactly as it did in 1990 is a civic punch line. 

We went from twin span to signature span to signature companion span to shortened signature companion span to, “hey, maybe we can build a larger inspection plaza to get traffic moving and reduce inbound backups on the bridge.” None of these is likely to happen.  Opponents of the bridge are against expansion because several buildings – which the Peace Bridge Authority already owns – will be demolished to make way for it.  

But one of the other characteristics that Detroit shares with Buffalo is a river crossing with Canada. While Buffalo wrings its hands over a bridge expansion, Detroit just approved construction of a new bridge to Windsor – and it’s even more controversial there because in Detroit a private company runs a bridge and is vehemently opposed to the competition.  Bridging our connections to Canada – or improving the ones we have – may not be something that’s critically important now, but it’s something that would position Buffalo for future growth and expansion of cross-border trade and travel. 

Congressman Brian Higgins has been fighting for Peace Bridge expansion, and released a statement yesterday that was practically chiding Buffalo for a missed opportunity – one that Mayor Brown is abetting

Congressman Brian Higgins stood by the Peace Bridge in Buffalo and called on Western New York leaders, residents and businesses to join him in the fight against the inertia.  Higgins used Friday’s announcement of a deal for a new international border crossing between Detroit and Canada as an example of how delays and obstruction are costing this community jobs and economic opportunity. 

 “While Western New York is finding ways to block, other communities are finding ways to build,” said Congressman Higgins.  “The complacency and resistance to change that has been pervasive in Buffalo for fifty years will continue to cost us if we don’t act now.”

 In an agreement between the state of Michigan and Canada announced June 15, the two governments will move forward on construction of a New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor, Ontario.  As a part of the deal, Canada will fund Michigan’s share of the project, up to $550 million, toward the $2 billion span. 

 A study released by the Center for Automotive Research found that the Detroit project will create approximately 12,000 jobs per year during the 4-year construction phase and another 8,000 permanent jobs will be created in the vicinity of the new bridge and the greater region as a result of new economic activity. 

 Congressman Higgins, a champion for the addition of new capacity at the international Peace Bridge crossing between Buffalo, New York and Fort Erie, Ontario, added,  “Incessant squabbling  only leads to inertia.  Be it the waterfront, the Peace Bridge or the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, it is time to fight against the fight and together fight for progress and all the good that comes with it”…

…Higgins asserted, “Public infrastructure is a public responsibility. In addition to historically low rates of borrowing, the “cost acceleration” of delaying road and bridge repair increases by 500% after only two years. Put simply, a $5 million bridge repair project will cost $25 million in 2014. The time to rebuild America is now, actually right now.”

Al Coppola was once a State Senator and most recently known for threatening to move the “Pan Am House” from Delaware Avenue to a location near the Peace Bridge so as to halt any demolitions. (Then-Assemblyman Sam Hoyt had some choice words in reaction to that scheme

Coppola claims he’s now running as a Democrat to replace Mark Grisanti, and penned this article for Buffalo Rising. In short, Mr. Coppola argues not just for halting the expansion of the Peace Bridge, but for getting rid of it altogether. He also gets in a dig at the Peace Bridge Authority, arguing that they want to destroy a neighborhood to build a bigger duty free shop. It’s always best to demonize your opponent, rather than just argue your own point. 

It wasn’t the idea of anyone alive to put an international bridge crossing smack next to a residential neighborhood, but that’s what we have. To argue about noise pollution or emissions now is to argue for its removal, not for the status quo. It may be time, therefore, to demolish the Peace Bridge and dramatically expand capacity in Niagara County to connect the 405 to the I-190. 

A signature bridge is never, ever going to happen. Not in my lifetime, not in yours. Neither is an expanded plaza. Neither is the park that the New Millenium Group – which was once a big proponent of a signature span – was promoting. 

The Ambassador Bridge to Black Rock? Not going to happen. No one’s going to build a plaza and new interchange on the US side with the Scajaquada and 190 right there, particularly given the fact that the push now is to downgrade the Scajaquada to a boulevard of some sort.

While an ideal crossing would be across the river just south of Grand Island, so that it would connect up with the I-290 and I-190, that disturbs residential neighborhoods in Canada.

Instead, we should completely jettison the Peace Bridge expansion altogether and instead increase capacity at Queenston-Lewiston. That single span gets a tremendous amount of truck and vehicular traffic, and recently received an upgrade to five lanes. The Q-L bridge provides direct access on both sides of the span to a major highway; the 405 to the QEW on the Canadian side, and the I-190 on the US side.

If there was any semblance of forward-thinking on the part of the CVB, it would already have been in talks to develop and construct a gorgeous visitor’s center that is run locally – not from Albany. Lease some Thruway property from the Authority and give border crossers a reason to come to a whole host of attractions in Western New York. The fact that there is no “Welcome to New York” or “Welcome to WNY” center on this side of the border underscores just how backwards and simple our supposed tourism promoters are. They’re at Thruway rest areas, but not at the border. How patently stupid; you have to wait until you get to Pembroke or Angola – well on your way out of the metro area.

There comes a time when you just say “enough”. The Peace Bridge project has spent ten years in environmental review, design review, and negotiations over the now-dead shared border management. We can sit and wait another few years for a new administration to change its mind, but it’s been almost ten years now that nothing tangible has happened. The preservation community has drawn a line in the sand as far as the neighborhood that would be adversely affected by a new plaza on the Buffalo side, and – let’s be honest – scary Al Coppola’s scary threat to move his shack to the west side is scary persuasive. 

So screw it. Enough. Everybody wins.

Expand the Queenston-Lewiston bridge with a second, signature span across the Niagara River, right at the escarpment with a gorgeous view of the meandering river leading to Youngstown, and Lake Ontario beyond. Maybe two spans, and we demolish the Peace Bridge.  This way, Niagara County can benefit from cross-border trade and traffic, and Buffalo can figure out ways to get Canadian visitors to make their way south from the outlet mall and west from the Walden Galleria. 




Send hate mail here.


  • Correct me if I’m wrong, but Detriot really only has two crossings in its metro area: the private Ambassador Bridge and the Windsor tunnel. I always thought it was a strength of this area that we have four. Maybe we don’t think so anymore? (and by we, I mean the bumbling CVB and line-in-the-sand preservationists)

    • Carl Gorney

       Correct. BUT they both connect in the downtown area(the Ambassador to I-75; the area right around the bridge recently got a MASSIVE upgrade-sadly, the inspection booths weren’t part of it; the D-W Tunnel puts you right in the heart of downtown and gives you access to the Lodge Freeway(M-10)and I-375).

      • Dan_Blather

         Downtown, sure, but it’s downtown Detroit.

        Really, there’s no comparing Detroit and Buffalo.  Detroit, the city at least, is in far worse shape than Buffalo. 

  • You’re from Westchester County. You have a lot of nerve telling us how wrong and horrible we are. Move back to NYC, asshole. 

    • I haven’t been from Westchester County since May 1994. Is that really the best you can troll? 

      • You’re a downstate elitist that can’t shut his mouth because he feels intellectually superior to us bumkins. Shut you mouth. Stop disrespecting our neighborhoods. And move your elitist fat ass back to NYC.

      • Actually, I’m a CLARENCE elitist WHO can’t shut his mouth because I am clearly intellectually superior to anonymous internet trolls. I will not shut my mouth, since I am writing and not talking; as a related point, I will not stop writing.  Nor do I think I’m disrespecting your neighborhood by suggesting that the Peace Bridge be demolished. 

      • Your a disingenuous hack who has been motivated by anything other than his own ego. You don’t care about the issues, the people, the neighborhood, or the lives that these decisions affect. You don’t care about the kids with asthma, and the families with cancer and respiratory problems. Exactly, because you’re a CLARENCE elitist whose only concern is your commute. You talk with airs, as if you’re a real Buffalonian. You clearly think you’re better than us and can do better than Buffalo. So, go back to NYC.

      • Ladies and Gentlemen, Matt Ricchiazzi.  (BTW, I don’t commute across the Peace Bridge, dummy). 

        http://bit.ly/KQL5iN

      • Hee hee!

      • Dan_Blather

         I remember his BR article from a couple of years ago.  He was advocating spending a couple hundred million on a new border crossing at Grand Island, with the sole intent of saving a half block of houses on the West Side.  The overall cost of his alternative bridge plan would have been the equivalent of … oh, $15,000,000 to $20,000,000 for each house saved – houses that would otherwise have a market value of 1/100th that.

        Of course, many of the BR regulars thought it was a GREAT idea.

      • Carl Gorney

         Patrick: Leave and don’t come back until you can coherently make your take. You’re all over the place.

        The Manual Buzzer needs to be used for all of your…ahem…TAKES.

    • Dan_Blather

      So, you don’t want people to move to Buffalo from outside the region at all?  You don’t want the infusion of new blood, new ideas?  You’d rather see the region’s population continue its slow decline?

      Old Buffalo is alive and well.

  • Colin Eager

    I read it quickly, but I don’t think the word asthma appears in this piece.  It’d be hard to give a fair hearing to those who are opposed to expanding the Peace Bridge plaza without mentioning it, since the  impact on west side air quality is a huge issue for them, as well as those concerned with environmental racism/justice.

    • Exactly. So, we should clearly demolish the Peace Bridge. 

      • Colin Eager

         I don’t think that the presence of elevated asthma rates on the west side suggests that the bridge needs to go, or even that the plaza expansion needs to be stopped.  There’s a whole mess of factors to be weighed.

        But I do think the fact that the air quality issue is absent from your piece says something about your glib analysis of real concerns and your tendency to cast Buffalo’s issues in terms of some half-baked amateur psychology, with us trapped in the past while other cities boldly venture into the future.   

      • Moving the plaza closer to Porter Ave and expanding it, together with pre-screening in CDN, would all work in unison to minimize truck idling, which produces CO and diesel particulate emissions which, in turn, are alleged to cause asthma. (There are other risk factors for asthma besides vehicle emissions). 

        So if plaza enhancement, movement, and expansion would help ameliorate the public health concerns, I don’t see the point of blocking them. 

        As for the incidents of asthma in children living near the Peace Bridge, I guess the best I can do is to say, don’t move near the Peace Bridge if you have or are going to have kids. It’s like someone moving to Cheektowaga and complaining about airplane noise. The Peace Bridge has been there for almost 100 years. It’s quite obvious, and if you move there and have kids, you’re coming to the nuisance. 

        That’s not to say things shouldn’t be done to minimize the nuisance, but when the community blocks those, I think the most reasonable thing to do would be to eliminate it altogether. 

      • Over the last 15 years, I’ve yet to see an air quality study of the area that has been objective, and reached a defensible conclusion one way or another on the air quality down there.  

        Then again, that’s also how we impede progress. Demand a study for everything. Make sure that a bird can’t run into a wire, and just assume that said bird is stupid and won’t fly around it. 

        However, the same point remains; if you chose to buy a home close to an international border crossing, you should expect that things like air pollution are going to come along with the ride.  

    • Colin – good point, but problematic. Asthma is a huge issue for the residents of the West Side, but the data are not helpful. The Clean Air Coalition of WNY has done a great job qualitatively of telling the stories of residents, asking their concerns, and doing photo journal projects where they discuss their clean air/asthma fears. Unfortunately, quantitatively, their rates of asthma are not statistically different than other members of their socio-economic group. In other words, being poor is as much of a contributor to their asthma as any idling trucks.

      Of course, social justice decisions are rarely made based upon quantitative data – we’ll build a bridge or not based upon activism or profit motive, whomever wins.

    • People bought homes near a bridge with traffic that has been there for 85 years. Anyone paying attention should have known that air quality _MIGHT_ not be the greatest in that area. It’s not like trucks all of a sudden started showing up at this bridge 5 years ago. 

      • prospect_hill_homeowner

        My family has lived in the Peace Bridge neighborhood for 70 years.  Given that perspective, the trucks DID suddenly show up.  Within the past 10 years it has gotten worse.  I say: move the trucks, not the neighborhood.  This has been a thriving neighborhood far longer than the arrival of increased diesel traffic.

      • No disrespect intended, but 16 years ago when I was a young punk out of high school coming into the city for Sabres games, there were lines of trucks on that bridge. 

      • Dan_Blather

        My family lived in the Kensington neighborhood since the 1930s.  The neighborhood experienced massive socioeconomic change in the late 1980s.  Everybody in my family that still lived there moved away.

        Neighborhoods change.  Sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.

      • prospect_hill_homeowner

        Use of the phrase massive socioeconomic change implies that your family was forced out against their will. The phrase white flight seems more appropriate. Not all long-time Kensington residents made that choice. Those who stayed have come to realize that the neighborhood is still a good place to live. Those who moved into the neighborhood when your family moved out think the same thing.
        I and my neighbors are of a mind that we like the neighborhood and want to stay. It’s the most culturally, economically, and ethnically diverse area in Western New York. Massive socioeconomic change is happening all around us, all the time and we think that’s a good thing.
        What we object to is the encroachment of the PBA and their plans to demolish the nieghborhood and poison the air. Our objections are bolstered by the fact that there is no need for a bigger duty free store and the parking lot for its customers. The current plans for the plaza expansion do not increase the number of traffic lanes going into or out of the plaza. They could build 30 more processing booths and there will still be a bottleneck. Incedentally, the expansion plans call for only two more booths. The expansion project is not about increased traffic flow. It’s about increased toll revenue and increased revenue from the duty free store.

      • prospect_hill_homeowner

        Use of the phrase massive socioeconomic change implies that your family was forced out against their will. The phrase white flight seems more appropriate. Not all long-time Kensington residents made that choice. Those who stayed have come to realize that the neighborhood is still a good place to live. Those who moved into the neighborhood when your family moved out think the same thing.
        I and my neighbors are of a mind that we like the neighborhood and want to stay. It’s the most culturally, economically, and ethnically diverse area in Western New York. Massive socioeconomic change is happening all around us, all the time and we think that’s a good thing.
        What we object to is the encroachment of the PBA and their plans to demolish the nieghborhood and poison the air. Our objections are bolstered by the fact that there is no need for a bigger duty free store and the parking lot for its customers. The current plans for the plaza expansion do not increase the number of traffic lanes going into or out of the plaza. They could build 30 more processing booths and there will still be a bottleneck. Incedentally, the expansion plans call for only two more booths. The expansion project is not about increased traffic flow. It’s about increased toll revenue and increased revenue from the duty free store.

      • Robert Galbraith

        Yeah, what were they thinking? Anyone that doesn’t want to have asthma has no business living on the West Side. Those crybabies at Love Canal, too.

      • Dan_Blather

         > Yeah, what were they thinking?

        They moved to the nuisance.  Same thing with anyone who buys a house in Cheektowaga next to BNIA.

      • Funny you should make that crack. 

        I own a home in the rehabilitated Love Canal neighborhood. Before I bought it, I did my homework, made sure I knew what potential problems the history of the are could give, and made my decision based on those factors. 

        If homeowners down there didn’t pay attention to the fact that there was an international border crossing that had heavy truck traffic right there, that’s on them.

        The original Love Canal homeowners were all made aware of what was in the ground. Every single one of our property deeds has Hooker Chemical’s statement on it. Nothing was hidden from them, and nothing was hidden from people buying homes downwind from the Peace Bridge. 

  • Jesse Smith

    I guess you are trying for some kind of satirical “modest proposal” here, but frankly I think you are mostly hitting on the correct solution. Move the truck traffic to the Queenston-Lewiston bridge, where the population density is much, much lower and there is room for expansion by reconfiguring the existing highway ramps. Keep the existing Peace Bridge for passenger cars and buses that are traveling to Buffalo.

    Two thoughts:

    1) Detroit’s Eminem ad is hardly forward-looking. In the world of peak oil production, to double-down on your city’s brand as an automobile manufacturer is quite ill-considered, and absolutely wallowing in the past.

    2) You seem upset that the PBA has been unable to build a signature bridge. The fact is that there is no compelling reason beyond civic vanity to build an expensive new bridge. Traffic is down and will probably continue to decline as the economy contracts. Failing to build a new bridge represents fiscal prudence and common sense, not civic failure. The PBA is just trying to snatch some scraps of profit from the floor by building a bigger duty free shop. That is what we invoke eminent domain for, and tear down a neighborhood block?

    • 1. The PBA is a not-for-profit entity. 
      2. Detroit is celebrating the fact that it made – and continues to make, and thanks to the auto bailouts will continue to make, personal conveyances. Peak oil aside, if you don’t think that automakers will inevitably come up with a sustainable petroleum alternative (ethanol, hydrogen fuel cells, and biodiesel all come to mind), then you’re kidding yourself.  And when that comes about, one presumes that American automakers will either lead the way or follow suit. 
      3. I think that expanding capacity at the Peace Bridge through the construction of a signature span and an expanded plaza that’s closer to Porter Avenue would do much to further cement Buffalo’s position as a trans-border crossing, a center for international trade and commerce, and help to speed clearance (along with pre-screening of trucks on the CDN side) so as to minimize the effects of pollution from idling cars. Yet every single proposal that’s come down since the 1990s with respect to enhancing the Peace Bridge crossing has been met with obstinacy and litigation. 

      So, clearly it no longer matters to Buffalo that there be a bridge crossing to Fort Erie. Residents have spoken and decided that we oughtn’t fix the environmental problems, but eliminate them altogether. Despite the fact that the immediate neighborhood is not unified in its opposition to Peace Bridge Plaza expansion, our default preference between “fix it” and “do nothing” is – as it always is – the latter.  

      The PBA should barricade the bridge at its center and negotiate terms with Canada to demolish it. The Niagara Falls Bridge Commission will then be the sole trans-border bridge authority in existence, and it should be given the ability to expand the current Q-L Bridge with a Nexus-only passenger vehicle span and a four-lane truck & commercial only span, and maintain the current adjustable-lane span for other passenger traffic. Expand the plazas on both sides of the border to accommodate this, build a gorgeous welcome center on the NY side just past the inspection lanes, and call it a day. 

      • Robert Galbraith

        If you think that there is an alternative that has the same EROEI as gas, you’re kidding yourself. What evidence is there to suggest that (even assuming the existence of such substance) that the American auto industry will be the ones to come up with it? Doesn’t all recent evidence point to the American auto industry as being way too far up its own ass to be a leader in anything? As long as oil can somehow be squeezed out of the planet, we will do that because that’s what we have the infrastructure for. Never mind that every reserve we discover yields less and less, we will make excuses to “develop” those until the EROEI doesn’t bear out. (In a related story, the just “successfully” fracked for oil in Kansas. Get ready to see that one make its way north and east).

        Also, how does a big plaza cement Buffalo’s position as a center for international trade and commerce? How many of the trucks are destined for Buffalo? How many more will be if we have a big plaza? It seems like the expanded plaza is just an excuse for the PBA to put SOMETHING new in so the pols can put a tick in their successes column.

        I don’t think it’s too much to ask for people to want to see the PBA’s plan or to ask that the PBA honor the NEPA & SEQRA processes before demolishing the houses (which, as you rightly point out, the PBA bought  years ago and left to rot) and slathering the block with a bunch of asphalt. 

      • I think that clearly it’s hard to put a massive international 100+ year gas & oil infrastructure against nascent renewable sources, but I won’t assume that alternatives can’t be found within a reasonable period of time that will be economically feasible and beneficial. 
        As for the American auto industry, I wrote that they’ll either lead the way or follow suit.  The Volt may not be selling well because it looks weird and costs a lot, but it’s a pretty good model for what we should be doing while we wait for the inevitable alternative to petroleum to fuel personal conveyances. 
        As for the trucks, they don’t have to be destined for Buffalo. There’s plenty of ancillary businesses relating to a border crossing – everything from warehousing to fuel to hotels to food to customs brokerages. I don’t have a problem if all of that goes to Niagara County or Detroit. But a lot of people may take a hit. 

    • Jesse Griffis

      Assuming that the economy will continue to contract is fallacious, I believe. What evidence do you have that leads you to believe that to be the case? Peak oil nonsense?

      • Robert Galbraith

        You realize, right, that basically every prediction made by peak oil writers in the 90s has come true, right? Global oil production peaking and declining, skyrocketing oil prices that cause the economy to contract, failure of alternatives due to net energy (the ratio of energy needed to extract fuel to the energy the fuel provides)? Or is Daniel Yergin right and does oil still cost $30/bbl today? I forget.

        Enlighten me, please, what part of this is nonsense?

  • In Buffalo, every project has two sides. 

    1. A project that will benefit all of WNY. 
    2. A building with a nebulous ‘historic’ designation. 

    History always wins!! It’s always more important to save that mostly abandoned house that has a plaque out front because someone sorta important mowed the lawn there once than it is to move forward on project that improve the economy and stature of the entire region. 

    This shit is why when my current employment ends, I’ll probably be moving out of the area. Projects like the Peace Bridge expansion have been argued about since I was in HIGH SCHOOL. This is just retarded. 

    Everyone in this town wants things to change, but nobody wants that change anywhere near them. All NIMBY, all the time. 

  • Jim_Holstun

    In this as in all domestic policy issues, I agree with the Hon. Alan Bedenko, intellectually superior downstate elitist. One modification: keep the lovely current Peace Bridge for bike and pedestrian traffic only!  And maybe motorcycles.

    Jim
     

    • Jesse Griffis

      Why not let cars come across? Force the vile truck traffic to go elsewhere.

  • CutRedTape

    Excellent article!  A great unintended consquence of this Modest Proposal: death to one more redundant NYS revenue-collecting Authority.

    I would go further:  The Emperor has no Clothes!   There is NO. . I repeat NO. . . volume-handling problem on our bridges.  We don’t need another bridge *anywhere!*  Just stand on the pier when you are able, day or night, and look at lanes.  It is a *cusoms/immigration clearance* backlog. 

    • NewToBuff

       this is the ONLY answer.  More customs booths to facilitate more cars RATHER than the opposite = building a larger bridge with the existing number of customs booths (makes no sense).  although a new shiny bridge would be pretty and nice for the BUff, that would just increase the bottleneck

  • Brian Bray

    “While an ideal crossing would be across the river just south of Grand Island, so that it would connect up with the I-290 and I-190, that disturbs residential neighborhoods in Canada.”

    Why is it more ideal to disturb residential neighborhoods in American than Canada?

    • It’s not. I’m pointing out that it’s one thing to expand an existing span, and another to build an altogether brand-new span. 

    • As an aside, Canada also just spent millions of dollars building a pre-screening plaza for a bridge expansion we won’t support. They rebuilt roads, got easements from citizens, and made huge infrastructure investments. To ask them to now tear that down to build a new bridge a few miles down the road seems a bit much, doesn’t it?

  • Apparently Brian Higgins thinks expanding a truck stop is the kind of infrastructure investment we need to make in this country. This would have been a forward thinking position in 1952. 

    • There is no truck stop at the Peace Bridge. What are you  talking about? 

      • “The document claims that the proposed demolitions will “create additional greenspace and recreational opportunities for neighborhood children.” Opposition to the idea of expanding the plaza to create parking space for diesel trucks in conjunction with a new Duty Free store has focused on respiratory ill health effects especially among children in the Peace Bridge vicinity. ”
        Quoted from artvoice article Fireworks over the Peace Bridge Demolitions. I am characterizing what exists at the Peace Bridge as a truck stop. The PBA calls it a plaza, how lovely. 

      • Dan_Blather

         > I am characterizing what exists at the Peace Bridge as a truck stop

        Can I buy a wolf t-shirt or shiny chrome CB radio there?  Pick up a jug or two of Diesel Treat?   Take a shower?   Get some cassette tapes of Larry The Cable Guy performances to tide me over to Harrisburg?

  • I’m guessing that preservationists would also rally against removing the Peace Bridge. 

    Anything old, is gold.

    • Robert Galbraith

      Bridge in the Grass

  • Calling Detroit forward looking is laughable.  You should take a trip their before developing a contention that Detroit is a formula worth following .

    •  There not their

      • Dan_Blather

         Your write.

    • I’m not talking about the state of their downtown versus the state of Buffalo’s downtown. I’m talking about the brash, unapologetic image that Detroit is projecting and developing versus the effete and precious image that Buffalo’s loudest boosters are promoting. 

      Also, their MLB team and their NFL team and their NHL team all play home games downtown. That’s something. 

      •  I am talking about the reality of pretty much the  entire city of  Detroit.  It is a wreck and nothing that should be emulated.  The image you say Detroit is projecting is nothing but a Madison Ave fantasy.  Detroit has been great at paving over and demolishing its neighborhoods and the results are miserable.  Detroit wishes it had what Buffalo has and is trying to hold on to.   Please Buffalo,  look at Detroit as a great example of what not to do.

  • Dan_Blather

    Detroit also has more than its maudlin marketing.  Unlike the bold Chrysler commercial, the Pure Michigan campaign is official. 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mLmUcWjW2Zw

    The television commercials were worse, boasting about Detroit  being “authentic”, “a real city”, “not sanitized”, and so on. Sound familiar?

    Reverse snobbery.  Pure Michigan.  And Buffalo, For Real.

  • Gabe Armstrong

    Demolishing the Peace Bridge is just silly talk and I’m guessing Alan is just using this absurdist suggestion as an attention-grabbing rhetorical device.  I believe someone mentioned in a comment that the sensible thing to do would be to divert all freight/truck traffic to the QL and reserve the PB for just passenger cars and buses. As someone who lives about 6 blocks from the PB I can certainly understand why local residents aren’t too keen on their neighborhoods being used as a giant emission sewer by trucks that bring no direct economic benefit to the immediate area. If the warehouses and other logistical facilities these trucks use are all at least 15 miles away, a slight diversion to the QL won’t make much of a difference for them.

    Let’s stick to rational, pragmatic compromises and stray away from the crazy talk. We all know there’s way too much of that going around this city.

    • Did you move to within 6 blocks of the Peace Bridge with no knowledge that there was an international road crossing involving cars, trucks, and buses nearby? If so, that’s patently ignorant. If not, then you sort of don’t really have much about which to complain, as the risks and inconveniences would have been readily available to you with some minimal investigation. 

      Why would we retain bus and passenger car traffic at the Peace Bridge if it’s so disturbing and asthma-inducing for the immediate neighborhood? Why are fumes better from idling diesel buses than from idling diesel trucks? In what way do those buses provide “direct economic benefit to the immediate area?” Is there some bus tour that Torontonians take of Buffalo’s west side of which I’m unaware, stopping at Sweetness_7 and other hipster locales? 

  • Why isn’t Kathy Hochul  going to the Democratic Convention?

    http://www.thedaily.com/page/2012/06/20/web-news-dems-distancing-from-obama/

    Is it because she is a Heterophobe?