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SEP 22 - SEP 29, 2015

Support to Change Name of the Robert Moses Parkway

SEP 22, 2015

The Robert Moses Parkway when it was newly installed in the 1960's served as a great divider between the state park and the city.


Several members of the Niagara County Legislature are proposing that the Robert Moses Parkway be renamed the Niagara Scenic Parkway.

Led by senior minority legislator Dennis Virtuoso, a Democrat, and Republican Clyde Burmaster, a resolution, almost certain to pass, will signal the county’s support of the name change.

"Tourists, visitors and the motoring public are presented signs to the Robert Moses State Parkway throughout Niagara County," according to the resolution, “the name of the parkway is not helpful or descriptive in directing tourists or visitors to their destinations, and in fact, can actually confuse the motoring public since the name Robert Moses does not explain or denote the parkway’s features or purpose.”

The purpose of the Robert Moses Parkway is to lead people into the Niagara Falls State Park and alongside other points of interest on the Niagara River waterfront including Devil's Hole and world famous whirlpool in the Lower Niagara River at the Whirlpool State Park.

Presently the Robert Moses Parkway is undergoing an $18 million reconfiguration and redesign meant to better ensure tourists enter directly into the Niagara Falls State Park at a location closer to the RT. 90 Thruway exit.

Critics of the redesign plan - and who supported the total removal of the Robert Moses Parkway have said that the Robert Moses Parkway, has since its installation in the early 1960’s, diverted tourists away from businesses in the city and essentially cut the city off from its own waterfront.

The Historical Association of Lewiston conducted an online poll and determined that 80% of respondents voted favorably for the name change.

The resolution asks that the proposal to change the name be directed to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Senator Robert Ortt and Assemblyman John Ceretto, “in an effort to encourage our state leaders to take the necessary actions to implement this name change as soon as possible.”

The resolution has no force of law since the Robert Moses Parkway is a state road but is seen as a possible impetus to an ultimate name change.

Robert Moses, the former Chairman of the New York Power Authority, was the architect of the shift of local control of Niagara hydropower to Albany control, and the creation of a 4-lane parkway along the waterfront that basically cut in half the greenspace along the river and, by its high speed traffic, made it difficult for pedestrians to approach the waterfront from the city and equally importantly difficult for park visitors to leave the park on foot to wander into and explore the city.

Moses is described as the great genius who hijacked the entire wealth of a once-prosperous city and diverting its entire assets into Albany coffers.

While the Parkway will continue to enrich Albany by keeping people out of the city and corralled into the Albany-run state park, the resolution to take the Parkway name away from its creator, Moses, is also sponsored by Democratic legislators Jason Zona and Owen Steed.


The Newly reconfigured Robert Moses Parkway, despite the hoopla of how it improves access to the waterfront, still serves to separate the city from the waterfront and more importantly direct tourists into the paid parking lots of the Niagara Falls State Park.







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