The development of the Outer Harbor opens vivid, enjoyable possibilities for Western New York to enjoy beautiful Lake Erie. But to build the Queen City Landing tower in this magnificent public space asks the taxpayers to underwrite a virtual and ridiculous sore thumb.
The site itself is dangerous. I worked the waters of the Great Lakes and Buffalo Harbor over 40 years and often experienced life-threatening peril from Lake Erie’s extreme weather.
In Buffalo Harbor I once ensured the survival of a moored vessel from a sudden 10-foot-high wave, a seiche. These threats are not merely high water but wet, wind-driven wrecking balls possibly miles in length, crashing inland and viciously destructive in and on the way out.
During the blizzard emergency of 1977, I supervised clearing South Buffalo area streets to restore public safety. Drifts of highly compacted snow driven by high winds ranged up to 20 feet deep from the lake miles into the city.
Since paths to hospitals and emergency services were high priority, the challenges of Fuhrmann Boulevard, the Outer Harbor and its buried cars were ignored until last.
I cite a couple of the many reasons the Queen City Landing will be dangerously difficult to access in extreme weather. Just providing emergency services during storm events will take extraordinary expense for the city and challenge the public safety personnel.
The Queen City Landing tower, a virtual island in that isolated location, will be unnecessarily dangerous and costly to support.