Western New York has the Erie Canal, and Love Canal.  It has Canal Side, too.

Why not the Grand Island canals?

My colleague Tom suggested this at work today.  Imagine the canals of Venice.  Okay, that’s a little much.  Imagine a bunch of inlets off the the Niagara River reaching into the Island, like water fingers.  Build homes along the canal where half the garage opens to the street and the other half opens to the water and is, essentially, a boat house.  Connect the canals, provide some good zoning for homes and small business, and you have a unique community focused along the extended waterfront.

I wonder of if the Grand Island Planning Board ever considered something like this.


2 Responses to Canals

  1. Rus Thompson says:

    Years back Bob Weaver designed a plan to do this right off East River Rd. The design was beautiful, the neighbors came unglued and the project was shot down.

    One summer I went to Cape Cod and took a couple rolls of film to help the planning board and the town center design committee when they were trying to come up with a theme for the town center.

    Tom Nowak through the pictures in the trash, the town center plan was ridiculous and had no theme, needless to say we have no plan, well at least one that we will ever see built in my lifetime.

    There are too many people with loud mouths, actually a small group that just happens to be very vocal that are against anything and everything that would benefit the people of Grand Island. They want this to be a bedroom community and nothing more.

    This same group stands at town board meetings and complains about everything but demands bike trails and bird watching areas. This same group used town money to buy land that is useless except for bird watching. Problem is this land was sold to us at over market prices, sold on the basis it would be used for recreation and worst of all they stole all the funds set aside for recreation called the Trust and Agency fund.

    I fought the land purchase on the basis of the use of these funds. After they bought the land, they changed the way the funds can be used because of my pressure on them. Now these dedicated funds have to be used for their purpose. I have all the articles I wrote back then if you are interested.

  2. Paul says:

    And I had always considered Grand Island to be one of the more progressive communities around here; after all, they live on an island!

    The public often just gets in the way of progress. Small vocal groups have most definitely been a thorn in the side of “progress” in Western New York, their favorite tools being volume and, of course, the courts – which guarantees to slow any progress to a snail’s pace.

    Then again, cutting the public out of planning means that activists like you end up with even less voice than you currently have. That’s one of the problems with activism: In order to be one you have to allow all those other jerks to be activists as well.

    So then it comes down to central planning. How do we get to intelligent, well-conceived growth plans presented to intelligent, thoughtful planning committees? Maybe restrict committee members to architects, civil engineers and horticulturalists? Require a 6-month course in macroeconomics prior to taking a seat on the committee? Put age limits in place so that stuffy old farts don’t get a voice?

    I see no clear-cut answer to finding the balance between smart governance and public involvement. Let me know if you find one.

    Thank you for your comments.


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