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A TOWER WOULD MAKE THE NEW BRIDGE UNIQUE

Why hasn't Buffalo kept pace with other cities that have made hard decisions to achieve their goals and build dazzling new structures? Cleveland first comes to mind. That city turned itself around by developing its waterfront and building the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame. Tourism is now at an all-time high.

It's not the bridge alone at stake here but an all-new bridge idea -- a catalyst focal point, emphasizing a first-class recreational and tourist area in close proximity to the bridge.

These dramatically powerful surroundings could be connected to a new waterfront zoo, an adjoining museum, planetarium and theme park. This would require land, imagination and commitment on the part of our leadership.

My latest bridge concept, though different from the others, has one thing in common -- a fixed cable-suspension bridge with an observation deck and pylon tower. Why a tower? Because it's visual and it could be seen for miles.

Think how exciting it would be for tourists to stay in a luxury hotel, swim, go boating and shop until they drop. Then they could catch an elevator to the "Sky's the Limit" revolving restaurant 400 feet above the Niagara River. On a clear day, one could see the falls.

And then there's the Peace Bridge Authority's proposal of two inappropriate designs, in open conflict to each other.

If the current bridge plaza struggles to handle traffic now, how will it handle two bridges of traffic and a 70-degree turn into Front Park? That scenario will never work. It is too small and won't support growth.

Why haven't our politicians championed this cause? A spectacular bridge will impact our growth potential, creating jobs and tourism. And let's not forget the private sector.

LaSalle Park is located on land very similar to Chicago's McCormack Place, the largest convention center in the world. Why not follow their lead and build a bigger, better park and bridge landing? Condemn some of the non-productive areas and expand on both sides of the expressway with connecting crosswalks. Then combine the monies allocated for that area.

DONALD R. PARRINO Kenmore

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