Stuck deep in a fiscal crisis that could force a 20% budget cut to restructure the City of Niagara Falls, Mayor Robert Restaino is unwilling to fund the construction of new canals and public spaces near Niagara Falls State Park.
But Restaino may be willing to transfer the right of way of John Daly Boulevard to the Seneca Nation of Indians, if the Nation and Niagara Falls Redevelopment were inclined to construct the proposed canalscapes without city funding.
The roadway stretches only one block, but divides the sovereign Seneca Niagara Territory and Niagara Falls Redevelopment’s vast 140-acre development site. Some in the real estate community believe that the space could become one of the City’s flagship public spaces, and a hub of future development.
Urban planners have been calling for urban design improvements in downtown Niagara Falls for decades, identifying the need for smaller blocks, more inviting public spaces, intimate streetscapes, and a spatial form that encourages pedestrians to wander well beyond the State Park and deep into the heart of the City.