NIAGARA FALLS, NY – Members of the city’s Tourism Advisory Board are upset with New York State, accusing Albany of dragging its feet on an agreement aimed at alleviating the traffic tie-ups which sometimes occur in the Cataract City on busy weekends and holidays.
“We’ve just been told one thing, and we’ve just been getting the run around,” groused Pat Proctor, who serves as the advisory board’s chairman.
The board is composed of business leaders and residents who serve in a voluntary capacity to enhance the fortunes of the city’s visitor industry, which is the life blood of its economy.
Traffic has been a primary concern, according to Proctor, particularly in the vicinity of the world famous Falls, where he says the backup has been known to stretch for miles.
An estimated 7 million visitors flock to the American side of Niagara Falls on an annual basis.
“You’ve got people just sitting in traffic in this part of town for two hours or more,” said Proctor. “It’s barely moving and with no guidance, and because of this, visitors immediately get a bad taste in their mouths once they are here.”
Members of the Tourism Advisory Board thought they’d hit upon a solution over the winter when, in conferencing with state officials, they worked out a plan involving the many busses that bring visitors to the state park dozens at a time.
Under the plan, busses would be forbidden from traveling down the last stretch of the Niagara Scenic Parkway, and unloading passengers on a narrow section of Prospect Street at the main entrance to Niagara Falls State Park.
Instead, busses are now supposed to divert onto Old Main Street, a block away, unload passengers, and then travel to…