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You get a say on what to put on the Outer Harbor

The Outer Harbor should be kept natural, accessible and parklike.

And there should be restaurants, more music, hotels and public transportation.

No bike ferry, expand the bike ferry.

Easy access is a must.

Those are some of the recommendations the public had at the first of three public sessions seeking public input on how Buffalo's Outer Harbor should be used in the future. The other meetings are planned in November 2018 for the presentation of project alternatives and in February on the preferred alternative and implementation projects.

Members of the public looked at large renderings of three areas of the Outer Harbor – First Buffalo River Marina, Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip and the Terminal B area – then wrote their ideas on sticky notes and placed them on the renderings.

Some ideas for the Outer Harbor from those who attended a recent meeting. (Barbara O'Brien/Buffalo News)

"I think we're getting a lot of ideas, I see a lot of sticky tabs and Post-Its and such, and that's what tonight's all about," said Steven Ranalli, waterfront development vice president of Erie Canal Harbor Development Corp. "I like to see a lot of sticky-tabs, that means we're hearing a lot."

There were plenty of ideas.

"I think it should be made something to attract people to Buffalo," said Vicki K. Burke of Buffalo. "We don't need a lot of hotels and places to drink. Something for everybody, that's what this city is lacking."

"I want to see as much parkland as possible," said Jane Lenichek of Amherst. "Figure out ways to make it more accessible."

Ranalli said the ideas will be collected and put into categories.

"In a case where four or 10 or 20 people have the same idea, that would hold more weight, obviously than if we just get a one-off," Ranalli said.

He said Buffalo zoning codes have determined the land use for each area: mixed-use in the First Buffalo Marina and Terminal B areas, and open space in the 124-acre section From Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip.

"It's open space. We're not proposing mixed development in an open space," he said.

If you couldn't make it to the meeting, there is an online survey under the Access and Activation tab at

Everyone had specific interests, whether it is boating or nature.

"I am against anything that will make this a place that people live," said JoAnn Mecca of Buffalo.

She said the Outer Harbor should be a place to recreate, not live.

"We walked from Wilkeson Pointe to Bell Slip, and it was beautiful," she said. "How can they improve on what is there?"

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