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AUGUST 03 - AUGUST 11, 2015

Only in NT: Canal Fest Parking and Other Recommendations

By Sweeney Payne

AUGUST 03, 2015

Next year, North Tonawanda should make Canal Fest line up hourly shuttles to bring residents downtown that week because parking was always bad, but it's ten times worse since Remington Lofts/Remington Tavern took over so much of the nearby formerly public parking.

Make Gratwick Park, the Botanical Gardens, and NTHS School parking lots “park-and-ride” for residents. Free parking for residents only. Charge $5 each for the shuttle ride.  Designate Mid-City, Wurlitzer Park, and Budwey’s plazas, the Library, as additional pickup points for those who don’t need to drive to get to them.

Most Canal Fest attendees spend more money during Canal Fest than they should.  A fee of $5 for a ride instead of a similar parking fee downtown would free up spaces for visitors coming into NT for the Fest. Residents wouldn’t have to deal with ugly traffic on the way home. Another $5 would put them on the shuttle back.

During Canal Fest, concerts and other events drawing so many out-of-towners who don’t respect our streets, NT should put out many large trash totes.  Non-residents ignore the small decorative ones.

During Canal Fest 2015, Channel 4 meteorologist Don Paul complained several times when showing webcam shots of other communities, lamenting that he couldn’t show what Canal Fest looked like and said, “Please, NT, get it fixed!”  We realize Dave Burgio is selling his Sweeney Building, didn’t renew his lease with the Chamber of Commerce and obviously removed/had removed the webcam.

Does anyone in City Hall care that so many property owners on Oliver between Goundry and Thompson and even on Goundry in the downtown area don’t cut the grass/weeds between the sidewalk and street?  How did Burgio get away with allowing weeds to grow behind his “new” building on Webster Street until the morning Canal Fest was to begin?  Project Pride Way runs next to his property, giving those using it a view of the overgrown weeds since spring!

When will the “Mayor” make appointments to boards and commissions a transparent process where NT residents know there are openings for which they may apply?  Why would Pappas name Dennis Pasiak to the Historic Preservation Commission?  Why was the Mayor’s assistant, who Pasiak replaces, on the Commission to begin with?  When will NT realize that putting public notices in a Niagara Falls daily paper hardly anyone in NT reads isn’t transparency?  News articles in weekly papers aren’t sufficient accountability to us of what they are doing, either.

 NT uses the same accounting firm that Lockport was criticized for using and not reviewing their work.  How does NT review their work and who does the reviewing?

Why, on the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, doesn’t NT have adequate grocery or drug stores reasonably close to most of the disabled residents, except for those who live near Mid-City Plaza?  Convenience stores are not sufficient.

A map in the Buffalo News on July 25, indicated how many residents between Gratwick and the border with Erie County are disabled.

What is NT doing to insure that developers they give taxpayer-funded benefits to are making their rental and business properties accessible to the elderly and disabled?

There they all were in the papers getting their photos taken on the steps of City Hall for the anniversary, with Senator Ortt, demanding NFTA continue bus service in NT.  Bus service for NT residents has been dreadfully bad for years but Ortt, Pappas, and Rizzo probably never needed to take a bus in their lives. If they ever had, they’d be demanding that NFTA actually provide genuine public service transportation for all, not just for the disabled.

How ironic that they posed for their photos on the front steps of City Hall, oblivious to the fact that they are not user-friendly to disabled or elderly residents, instead of posing at the hidden away as if they are ashamed of it, usually not easy to find parking near, handicapped entrance in the rear. What hypocrites!

Why, with this new guy in charge of the DPW who we’ve heard wasn’t so great in the Town of Tonawanda, doesn’t NT recycle anymore and make profit for it? Why did the Council authorize buying the recycling totes originally, then the little bit larger ones with gold lids, and then more of those when people asked for them, when everything in every size tote goes as trash and not as recycling anyhow?






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