Building Better Bridges
by Kevin F. Yost
In addition to a new second span of the Peace Bridge, the proposed private Ambassador-Niagara Bridge also needs to be built alongside the International Railroad Bridge. This needs to be for both non-commercial vehicles and trucks, while the Peace Bridge should then become restricted to non-commercial vehicles-only.
The second span of the Peace Bridge and expanded US plaza of the Peace Bridge should be built across from the ends of Busti and Massachusetts avenues and Seventh Street, north of the exising span, not south of it. This way, so many more Lower West Side homes can be sold by the Public Bridge Authority and then restored, as can more of Front Park, including views of the water and Frank Lloyd Wright boathouse. The second span should be close in design to the existing Peace Bridge and also have only three lanes, with the current span being eastbound and the new span westbound.
Meanwhile the possible new bridge between Black Rock and Bridgeburg from Route 198, rerouted west of the Grant Street Tops store, should also be built. Both this and the future Peace Bridge should be for non-commercial vehicles only, so that there are no more asthma and cancer rates in either Black Rock or the Lower West Side. This would also keep trucks off Route 198, which is supposed to be converted into a slower parkway. This should happen to the entirety of the Scajaquada and the portion of the Kensington-King (Route 33) south of the Scajaquada split to downtown, thus restoring and extending Humboldt Parkway and the Olmsted greenbelt.
Also, both spans need to be built and operated by the same entity, either the Public Bridge Authority, Ambassador-Niagara Signature Bridge Group, or Niagara Bridge Commission, as Canadian law does not allow competing crossings that close together. Preferably, the Public Bridge Authority would be abolished Trucks could go to the Niagara Falls crossings or a new bridge that could be built at the western end of Sheridan Drive for all vehicles, as well as a new ferry for all vehicles on the route of the former Canadiana. As well, the Niagara Thruway (Interstate 190) should be removed between Sheridan Drive and Michigan Avenue, putting the traffic on Niagara Street and River Road and allow the Erie Canal between Tonawanda and the Commercial Slip, as well as the new Niagara River bridges.
Kevin F. Yost
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