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Pathways are linked Bridge completes community dream and enhances an urban amenity

In Buffalo, where many complain that hardly anything gets done, something has. We've just seen the culmination of a 25-year dream to enhance the quality of life in this area.

Now, a new pedestrian and bicycle bridge over Scajaquada Creek at the Black Rock Channel completes the Scajaquada Pathway, linking Delaware Park to the Riverwalk. For the many people here who enjoy a leisurely bike ride, that's cause for celebration.

Bicyclists have been unable to ride, without stopping for traffic, from Buffalo's Olmsted park system to the Niagara River and its Riverwalk extensions northward to the Tonawandas or southward to Erie Canal Harbor. That has now changed, and this area can embrace a valuable connection that should augment further development of the outer harbor.

Buffalo is magnificent for its Frederick Law Olmsted parks, the work of a landscape visionary who left a tremendous legacy. The new bridge is a vital link in an emerging linkage of parkways, pathways and shorelines that can become a magnet for visitors while adding enjoyment for those of us who live here.

As Jesse Kregal, who conceived the pathway, told The News, congratulations are due the numerous volunteers, government agencies, property owners, consultants, contractors and political leaders -- including the late Assemblyman William B. Hoyt and his son and political successor, Sam Hoyt -- who saw this effort through. For Kregal and others like him who ran in Delaware Park and understood Olmsted's plan for connecting city parks and pathways to the waterfront, it only made sense to complete the idea. It was all uphill at that point, so to speak. But they persevered, and it was well worth it. Olmsted would smile at this completed piece of history.

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