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Letter: Conservancy, city must reconsider Cazenovia plan

Letter: Conservancy, city must reconsider Cazenovia plan

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Cazenovia Creek is the heart of Cazenovia Park, providing a feature missing from the other gems in the Queen City’s Olmsted Park system’s crown. Despite its unique role, the public will soon lose the ability to safely and conveniently walk, run or bike along a substantial portion of the Caz Creek shoreline if plans approved by Buffalo’s Preservation Board on May 27 are implemented.

Parkgoers are currently able to traverse an asphalt pathway that starts at Warren Spahn Way (across from a public parking lot) and hugs the creek for about 2,080 feet, the length of just over five football fields. The bumpiest section of the pathway – closest to Cazenovia Street – will be removed and replaced with a new asphalt path, a worthy improvement.

Unfortunately, about 700 feet of the path, the section that starts at the bridge near the public parking lot, will be removed and not replaced with a new pathway, but filled with topsoil seeded, and turned into lawn.

The public was unaware of this disturbing aspect of the plan. The official description of the proposal merely states, “Reconstruct and realign asphalt pathways and remove concrete steps.” Even the South District Councilmember did not know this detail an hour before the Preservation Board’s vote, emailing me that, “the pathways along the creek are not being removed, they are being replaced.”

It is bad enough that no public explanation has been given for removal of the iconic concrete steps – a physical reminder of Cazenovia Park’s history. There is no excuse for limiting the public’s ability to walk, run and bike along the creek without providing a meaningful explanation for diminishing that option.

For the sake of transparency and fairness, Buffalo Olmsted Park Conservancy and city officials owe it to the public to reconsider this plan, with public input.

Arthur Giacalone

Buffalo

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