How Bureacracy and Bickering Brought Down Niagara Falls


Down an overgrown path along the bluffs above the Niagara River gorge, a couple of miles downstream from the breathtaking cataract that gives Niagara Falls, New York, its name, there is a long-forgotten abutment from which city leaders think they can see the city’s future. Remarkably, it looks a great deal like the past.

Not the immediate past of Rust Belt decay and abandonment, or the unseemly history of industrial pollutants that seeped into the river and poisoned the earth. Instead, beyond the abutment’s edge lies a sanctuary for birds that wheel above the undisturbed waters far below, a riot of native greenery climbing the steep banks, and far in the distance, the eternal plume of mist from the Falls.

If you knew nothing about Niagara Falls, this is the view you might expect the city to offer a visitor. It is a view that Mayor Paul Dyster believes his city must be able to provide if it is to have any hope of reviving. “We have to develop a niche of the tourism market that plays to our strengths. And what we have over here,” he says, “is a close association with nature.”

But there’s a problem. As sublime as the view of the gorge might be, Dyster wistfully calls this stretch of the river “The Falls No One Gets To See.”

This is an excellent article that talks about how Niagara Falls, NY got to where it is, and what needs to be done to improve. I highly recommend it!

4 thoughts on “How Bureacracy and Bickering Brought Down Niagara Falls

  1. On this side of the Falls (United States) there is a big push to remove the Robert Moses parkway. It is in the local newspapers a couple times a month it seems. The problem is, 5 miles north of the Falls you actually get to a very nice community (Lewiston), and the Parkway is the preferred, easiest way to get there (not to mention to get to the Lake Ontario shore and Youngstown.)

    The point is, what seems to be going on is the same short sighted decision making. How about removing the parkway, but actually spending a couple dollars to get a light rail system (best case scenario) or at least a REGULAR bus/Shuttle service in the summer months (worse case scenario) to Lewiston and Youngstown from Niagara Falls, USA? It seems to me that would make the most sense, but is it not getting pushed for enough because the businesses in Niagara Falls, USA don’t want any of their ‘potential customers’ leaving the city limits?

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