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Letter: Don’t hijack funds for Buffalo bike path

Don’t hijack funds for Buffalo bike path

After recent meetings with the city and Mayor Byron Brown, we (the original Rails to Trails Committee) were informed of a change to the original agreed-upon Watts Engineering Plan.

We opted for a straight path down from Kenmore to Main and LaSalle Station Park and Ride. The city wants, instead of creating a bike path in the already common corridor traveled most by the public, to detour the project and consume most of the funds to repave and put lighting in a park few actually know about or travel on daily.

The mayor wants to throw us a bone at the eleventh hour, as if we haven’t had a plan in place and didn’t spend $200,000 on an environmental impact study and get 1,100 signed petitions from the community as to what the people in our community on both sides of the corridor wanted.

We already had the discussion, the plan, the meetings, the signed petitions and the expensive study. And it was all for the original Watts Plan connecting to the Tonawanda path down to the LaSalle Station and Shoshone Park. It makes sense and costs less.

For more than 20 years the trail has been proposed for the west side of the property with a branch trail to Starin Avenue. The people in North Buffalo and Hertel neighborhood want the western trail and Starin section.

The North Buffalo group from the Good Neighbor Planning Alliance has been actively working on a plan for its community as part of the city’s master plan. The west trail is part of that plan.

Why is the city being an obstructionist by changing the historically publicly supported plan? It is obvious, looking at the city proposal, that it is designed to leave room for the housing development to be brought back in the future in case we get too old or tired to organize and fight back. We want the original plan this money was proposed to the community to be spent on, not a plan City Hall chooses.

John and Cynthia Hall