Place the Stadium on the Peace Bridge

The Bills – I’m not a football fan and pay only casual attention to the team’s fortunes. The effort that’s now underway to find them a new location for a new stadium affects the whole community, fans or no. You can use this handy tool from 19 Ideas to place the stadium wherever you want

Chances are they’re not going to change the location, but they might do what Foxboro did and build a new stadium next to the old one. 

I predict that this will devolve into a typically Buffalonian mess. Despite the best efforts of the Governor and the consultants and counsel from places where things are occasionally accomplished, Buffalo will buffalo the “new”.  There will not be an alternative location. There will not be a new stadium without the state and municipalities spending big money on a home for a business that takes in $256 million in annual revenue and is valued at $870 million

Ours is a community with a lot of longstanding socioeconomic crises, crumbling infrastructure, and a glut of things that we still operate as if it was our 1950s heyday.

Consider that the Peace Bridge expansion project was first proposed in 1997 – 17 years ago. Now, we have an activist group advocating for the de facto removal of the 1927 bridge. It was 2009 when the Public Bridge Authority publicized its five alternatives for a signature companion span. 

But, maybe this time we’ll get out of our own way, right? 

 

22 comments

    • Why not Navy Island? They were gonna put the UN there way back when since it was a potential no-mans-land between two countries which neither could claim. Perfect for the Bills! Good season, we can fight Canada for who they belong to. Bad season, nobody has to own up to the team being theirs!

  • Perhaps an iconic floating stadium that could be towed wherever fans would pay the highest ticket prices. Buffalo for a game. Then Toronto, Rochester, maybe Cleveland. Down the Hudson to NYC and finally late season games in warm spots like Georgia.

    • Alan, if they do take you up on your idea do you think the fans could get duty-free warm beer at the game?

      • Thats right….nothing like warm yellow suds that has been sitting on a table for an hour to quench your thirst……..

    • I was thinking of something similar. Make it collapsible and run it up and down tracks like a circus train.

  • In this age of the internet, why do they even NEED a brick & mortar stadium? Can’t they just play the game online? Mymeeting or something like that?

  • I don’t believe the Peace Bridge debacle is comparable to the stadium debacle, and once a site is chosen, it will be be built relatively quickly.

    1) There is no real debate on where a new bridge should go (but there should be, imo) Biggest issue with a new stadium (because its a given it will be [taxpayer] funded ) is location. Hopefully we don’t make another urban renewal mistake and demolish a huge swath of the city for a 8-12 day year special event behemoth

    2) Outside of dome v no dome, nobody will care if we have a “signature” stadium, which has been a huge hangup for a new bridge

    3) Bills have a larger psychological presence in western new york than the peace bridge

    4) The monied interest that benefit from a new stadium are more concentrated than those that benefit for a new bridge. The Bills and politicians will get this done.

    5) International v debate on which county to locate in.

    6) all the stuff I’m forgetting

  • I say we build an island.

  • For a second I thought this was a Richazzi piece.

  • I’m not a fan of a new stadium unless someone can articulate what we are going to re-purpose The Ralph. Tearing it down is not an option. Any new stadium discussion needs to incorporate public transit in a big way. We can’t chew up vast amounts of acreage for a stadium, training facility and vast parking lots. To “regionalize” the Bills we need to get train and light rail integrated into the stadium so we can get fans and visitors in quickly from Canada, Rochester, Syracuse, Pittsburgh, and Cleveland. Expanding light rail to the airport and into Ft. Erie via the International Railroad Bridge would help bring more people 7 days a week into the core of the city.

    • Light rail into Fort Erie? God, imagine what a nightmare that would be with Customs.

      Agree about everything else, though.

      • Andy, if you think about it its not a big lift. Actually it’s easier, faster, and safer than a customs stop. No car to search, less space for hidden contraband, total travel time would be shorter – no bridge waiting. It would be no different than going through a TSA line at the airport. Ft. Erie would buy-in because it could be placed near the race track and would support that enterprise and most likely help support a building out of shopping and restaurants on that side of the border. It would reduce the need to build another bridge for cars and trucks and help reduce pollution on the West side. Cost would be double the price of the bridge 1 way to offset costs – travellers save on parking costs for events. win-win.

  • None of the neighborhood activists have ever suggested tearing down the Peace Bridge. We just want to live in our neighborhood and not be poisoned by the trucks’ diesel exhaust. We can all poke fun at the political processes that have manipulated the public interests, media and need for a new bridge, when it is all said and done, whether it is the Buffalo Bills, the Scajaquada or the Peace Bridge, what do the taxpayers really need and how is our quality of life better for any of it? Are we getting our most bang for our hard earned bucks or are we investing in smart growth for our future, non dependent on oil industry supply and demand. Let’s be thinking greener (not green bucks) for any development that depends on transportation in trucks or passenger vehicles. The real “joke” is how our politicians can not think differently for any of these projects!

    • Well, actually, the anti-Peace Bridge activism of the last few years has precisely been inadvertently advocating for the removal of the bridge. Setting aside for a moment the concept of “coming to the nuisance” (moving to a location adjacent to the 190 and the Peace Bridge and complaining about traffic pollution is not unlike moving to a house near the airport and complaining about aircraft noise), the likely result of expanded bridge and plaza capacity is to keep traffic moving. Your problem stems from trucks idling, not from trucks moving right along.

      What’s amazing to me is that the very people who, a decade ago, agitated for a signature bridge, are now agitating for no change whatsoever, or to removal of truck traffic, or removal of the bridge altogether. Why should people in Lewiston take the entire brunt of truck exhaust? The backups at the Q-L bridge dwarf anything that happens at the Peace Bridge.

      I don’t know what thinking greener means, but the bridge is there and it is used by people and businesses to cross between the US and Canada. Blocking efforts to keep traffic moving (Ricchiazzi even criticized the Fort Erie preclearance scheme), is directly counterproductive to your stated goals.

  • Option 1 – Authentic, genuine, and real.

    Option 2 – Never say goodbye. Except this time.

    • would never ever go to a Bills game and I would ditch the Bills if they placed the Super Stadium there, smug assholes with fixies and shitty PBR Everywhere!

  • Kathleen Mecca

    Mr. Bedenko is simply wrong on most of his facts. Activists are advocating for clean air on Buffalo’s West Side and restoring the Peace Bridge to it’s intended use: passenger cars. This community existed before the bridge was built and inspired Olmsted to design his first park land system. Mr. Bedenko’s argument about complaining residents makes as much sense as saying that cigarettes are not harmful- it’s smoking that causes lung cancer. As for shifting the emission burden to Lewiston Mr Bedenko like Bill McKibbens should brush up on the scientific facts. In March Dr. Lwebuga Mukasa published an article in the Huffington Post explaining that the prevailing winds off of Lake Erie carry the diesel toxins into the neighborhoods downwind of the Peace Bridge regardless of whether trucks are moving or idling. In 2012, 22 federal officials from six top Washington agencies met to discuss state-of-the-art alternatives to cross border transportation in Buffalo-Niagara because it made economic and environmental sense. That group was dismantled after political pressure was applied. Movetheplaza.com provides a plethora of factual information, articles, studies and news articles. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but no one is entitled to change the facts, especially when one out of three children on the west side is needlessly suffering from respiratory disease which irrefutable studies have linked to ultra fine particulates from diesel.

    • Mr. Bedenko is simply wrong on most of his facts. Activists are advocating for clean air on Buffalo’s West Side and restoring the Peace Bridge to it’s intended use: passenger cars.

      At the time of its construction, the Peace Bridge was the only Great Lakes vehicular crossing between Niagara Falls and Minnesota. It was built specifically to accommodate vehicular traffic – passenger and commercial – that could not be handled on the already extant International Railway Bridge. At its opening, Fort Erie and Buffalo became the principal ports of entry for Canada and the US, respectively. The fact that we’re arguing over the purpose of a vehicular crossing 90 years after its construction underscores just how stupid this bridge issue has become.

      The Peace Bridge was never a “passenger vehicles only” crossing.

      This community existed before the bridge was built and inspired Olmsted to design his first park land system.

      Invocation of Frederick Law Olmsted isn’t a substitute for a valid counterpoint.

      Mr. Bedenko’s argument about complaining residents makes as much sense as saying that cigarettes are not harmful- it’s smoking that causes lung cancer.

      Interesting you should say that. Smoking cigarettes can certainly be harmful. Smoking can cause lung cancer. It is not the sole cause of lung cancer, nor is it a guaranteed cause of lung cancer. Indeed, the science on the causes of lung cancer is much stronger than that having to do with asthma, and it’s simply incorrect to suggest that cigarettes cause lung cancer in all smokers, just as it’s incorrect to suggest that diesel particulate causes all asthma.

      As for shifting the emission burden to Lewiston Mr Bedenko like Bill McKibbens should brush up on the scientific facts. In March Dr. Lwebuga Mukasa published an article in the Huffington Post explaining that the prevailing winds off of Lake Erie carry the diesel toxins into the neighborhoods downwind of the Peace Bridge regardless of whether trucks are moving or idling.

      Having something published in the HuffPo doesn’t make it irrefutable fact. Dr. Mukasa presented a scientific theory. As a pulmonologist, I would certainly credit his opinion regarding lung diseases, but I do not credit his opinion concerning meteorological phenomena.

      In any event, no one knows what causes asthma. Anyone who says they do is either being paid for his opinion or is making things up.

      In 2012, 22 federal officials from six top Washington agencies met to discuss state-of-the-art alternatives to cross border transportation in Buffalo-Niagara because it made economic and environmental sense. That group was dismantled after political pressure was applied. Movetheplaza.com provides a plethora of factual information, articles, studies and news articles. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but no one is entitled to change the facts, especially when one out of three children on the west side is needlessly suffering from respiratory disease which irrefutable studies have linked to ultra fine particulates from diesel.

      If true, then there would be a demonstrable and statistically significant spike in asthma cases in and around the Williamsville toll plaza.

      If true, then there would be a demonstrable and statistically significant spike in asthma cases in and around any highway.

      Furthermore, what point is there in bringing up “state-of-the-art alternatives to cross border transportation in Buffalo-Niagara” if your own expert says that moving inspections to Fort Erie makes no epidemiological difference? You’ve set it up quite neatly, so that any recommendation short of full-on removal of the bridge comes across as being harmful to the residents living near the bridge.

      You say that you want the bridge “returned” to a “passenger cars only” designation it never had. But it’s one of only two direct highway-to-highway crossings from Canada to WNY, and you don’t make the case for moving all commercial traffic to Lewiston. Indeed, you completely ignored my argument about placing the exhaust burden on people in Lewiston – what does Dr. Mukasa’s non-existent wind expertise say about that? Do the “prevailing winds” in Niagara County not also blow west to east, as they do in Buffalo? Where do the “prevailing winds” blow in and around the Lackawanna or Williamsville tolls?

      You are using emotion and pseudoscience to promote your argument, and that’s fine. But suggesting that your “facts” are any more or less valid or real than any other “facts” is simply incorrect.

      In just 17 years, we’ve gone from a community that recognized the need for expanded bridge capacity at Buffalo to demanding a signature span to abandoning that altogether to arguing over shared border management and whether we expand inspection facilities on this side of the border. In the meantime, Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge is the busiest US-CDN crossing. Maintaining a competitive flow of commercial and passenger traffic through WNY gives the entire region an economic boost, regardless of where one lives.

      • Dr. Mukasa and Dr. Spengler’s decade long research was peer reviewed by the Heath Effects Institute. It’s accepted as scientific fact by the U.S. EPA and the World Health Organization. Their groundbreaking research is used as a world wide model for identifying and measuring ultra fine particulate matter. The validity of their work is sound science and not scientific theory. The Mukasa-Spengler studies can be found on http://www.movetheplaza.com.

        • In any event, no one knows what causes asthma. Anyone who says they do is either being paid for his opinion or is making things up.

          In 2012, 22 federal officials from six top Washington agencies met to discuss state-of-the-art alternatives to cross border transportation in Buffalo-Niagara because it made economic and environmental sense. That group was dismantled after political pressure was applied. Movetheplaza.com provides a plethora of factual information, articles, studies and news articles. Everyone is entitled to their opinion but no one is entitled to change the facts, especially when one out of three children on the west side is needlessly suffering from respiratory disease which irrefutable studies have linked to ultra fine particulates from diesel.

          If true, then there would be a demonstrable and statistically significant spike in asthma cases in and around the Williamsville toll plaza.

          If true, then there would be a demonstrable and statistically significant spike in asthma cases in and around any highway.

          Furthermore, what point is there in bringing up “state-of-the-art alternatives to cross border transportation in Buffalo-Niagara” if your own expert says that moving inspections to Fort Erie makes no epidemiological difference? You’ve set it up quite neatly, so that any recommendation short of full-on removal of the bridge comes across as being harmful to the residents living near the bridge.

          You say that you want the bridge “returned” to a “passenger cars only” designation it never had. But it’s one of only two direct highway-to-highway crossings from Canada to WNY, and you don’t make the case for moving all commercial traffic to Lewiston. Indeed, you completely ignored my argument about placing the exhaust burden on people in Lewiston – what does Dr. Mukasa’s non-existent wind expertise say about that? Do the “prevailing winds” in Niagara County not also blow west to east, as they do in Buffalo? Where do the “prevailing winds” blow in and around the Lackawanna or Williamsville tolls?

          You are using emotion and pseudoscience to promote your argument, and that’s fine. But suggesting that your “facts” are any more or less valid or real than any other “facts” is simply incorrect.

          In just 17 years, we’ve gone from a community that recognized the need for expanded bridge capacity at Buffalo to demanding a signature span to abandoning that altogether to arguing over shared border management and whether we expand inspection facilities on this side of the border. In the meantime, Detroit’s Ambassador Bridge is the busiest US-CDN crossing. Maintaining a competitive flow of commercial and passenger traffic through WNY gives the entire region an economic boost, regardless of where one lives.

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