Preserve historically-designated "Columbus Park-Prospect Hill Community" in Buffalo, NY sign now

We the undersigned are resolutely opposed to the proposed Peace Bridge Plaza expansion project because it provides no sustaining economic or social benefits to the City of Buffalo and WNY, and irrevocably destroys one of the most stable, vibrant and historically intact communities in WNY.

Whereas, the Peace Bridge expansion preferred alternative, as proposed by the Buffalo and Fort Erie Public Bridge Authority (PBA), will require:

The taking of 45 acres of land, 5 city blocks of dense urban properties, Demolition of 90-100 homes, the entire block occupied by the NRE Episcopal Church home and grounds, the dislocation of the historical Hutchinson Memorial Chapel, 55 historically significant structures, 15-20 locally-owned businesses, a community park, city streets and the clear cutting of hundreds of established legacy trees within the 45 acre project.

The estimated loss of properties, businesses, streets, green space and established trees nominally exceed $25 million dollars (assessed valuations). The loss of tax revenue to the City of Buffalo is undetermined.

The PBA proposed expansion will directly dislocate a minimum of 128 households but in fact will displace hundreds of city residents and disrupt the lives of many hundreds more including 24,000 children under the age of 18 years old.

The community targeted for demolition is the only intact waterfront neighborhood left in the City of Buffalo dating back to pre-Civil War era.

Homes in the proposed expansion area date from 1840s to the 1950s with numerous properties listed or eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Many of the homes have been occupied by the same families for generations.

The community is integrally connected to Lake Erie, Niagara River, a federally registered Olmsted Park system consisting of Front Park, Columbus Park and Prospect Park. It is directly adjacent to historically registered Porter Avenue and the Connecticut Street Armory and many other institutions and civic anchors that provide the rich cultural context of the West Side of Buffalo.

Whereas, The preferred expansion alternative cannot be built without The Mayor of the City of Buffalo and the Common Councils abandonment of public resources they hold in trust for the benefit of the public.

Whereas, the Mayor and the Common Council recognize that we oppose the City of Buffalo voting to abandon and sell our roads, grant permits, right-of-way access, relinquish any control over the eminent domain process or legislate any actions that would allow the PBA to move forward with any proposed expansion project.

Whereas, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The NY State Department of Environmental Protection (DEC), and The National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) has called the DEIS a seriously flawed and incomplete document that fails to meet the requirements of both Federal and State law.

Whereas, the Draft Environmental Impact Study (DEIS) for this expansion has been determined to be incomplete by numerous other public, private and not-for-profit organizations and hundreds of city residents and other regional citizens.

Whereas, the Federal EIS resulted in ONE build alternative and patently failed to adequately and fully consider any other identified viable alternatives as required by the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department of Transportation Act.

Whereas, the Public Bridge Authoritys refusal to consider an alternative separating truck traffic to another location, thus alleviating the need for substantial destruction of the neighborhood, and improving efficiency of commercial vehicle operations, encouraging Brownfield redevelopment, reclamation of tax base, and reducing environmental and health impacts associated with clearing commercial vehicles in a residential neighborhood. We respectfully ask the City of Buffalo to NOT ratify the DEIS or approve the proposed expansion project.

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Marian RuizBy:
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Petition target:
Mayor Byron Brown and City of Buffalo Common Council Members

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