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THE FIRST thing Buffalo-area residents interested in bicycling, jogging and walking should do is cheer the news that the state will provide money for pathways: slightly more than $1 million to finish one along Scajaquada Creek, connecting to the Riverwalk in Buffalo, and $467,000 for a new Tonawanda arm of the Riverwalk.

The second thing they should do is push Albany to complete financing of the Riverwalk itself.

The new money will add about 1.2 miles of path following the Scajaquada gorge from Grant Street east to the Black Rock Channel. Already built and available for peaceful strolling is a 1.1-mile stretch from the statue of David in Delaware Park to Grant Street.

The city's 1990-91 capital budget will need to have something like $400,000 to complete the financing, but it would be a surprise if that turns out to be a problem.

In the other project, more than 15 acres
of land along Two Mile Creek will be purchased by the City of Tonawanda for recreational purposes, including a spur off the Riverwalk.

The State Department of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation approved the funding from the environmental bond issue of 1986.

That's the new business. The old business is really old. Riverwalk is supposed to run from the mouth of the Buffalo River to the Barge Canal in Tonawanda, but a mile-long section from Busti Avenue to West Ferry Street in Buffalo has never been built.

It would be an expensive proposition ($3 million at last estimate), because the walkway would have to be on a projecting structure anchored to a wall. But the Riverwalk should be completed as a recreational asset to Buffalo and areas to the north.

It would be one of those things that give meaning to the phrase "quality of life."

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