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Letter: Canalside should offer public launching sites

Canalside should offer public launching sites

As a lifelong Western New Yorker, I am thrilled with all of the exciting activity on the Buffalo waterfront. It has been a long time coming, and recent visits to Canalside were encouraging and brought a sense of pride that finally we are making use of the waterfront in a positive way. Those from outside of our area are surprised at the natural beauty that the Buffalo area has to offer and at the amount of activity available. Boat tours, bike paths, sightseeing and concerts just to name a few.

I do, however, have a problem with the lack of public launching opportunities at Canalside for canoes, kayaks and paddleboards. By the lack of opportunity I mean zero. On a recent visit, when we tried to launch in the area where these watercraft are rented out, we were told that it was a private business and we could launch when they had room for us.

Our waterways are public property and access should be granted to all. Be careful, Western New York, before you lose the right to use “your waterways.” I think it is a mistake not to make room for public launching of nonmotorized boats at Canalside. Does everything have a price on it? You shouldn’t have to pay to have access to the water. Room was made for rentals and motorboats, why not for paddlers? Stand up for your rights and demand a public launch site at Canalside. Let the profiteers take their show somewhere else.

Joe Stein

Pendleton