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					PARSONS                                                                           Page 1 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
 



                       Engineering Design Services for the
                      Robert Moses Parkway, North Segment
                                                      D003554

                                          MEETING MINUTES

Meeting Date:                     10-27-2010                  Time:   3:00 PM

Meeting Location:                 NYPA Community Room

Prepared By:                      Christopher Gaul



                                               MEETING ATTENDEES

               NAME                     ORGANIZATION                            Phone No. (716)

Tom Kerr                                Cataract Tours                              432-1816

Frank D’agostino                        Cataract Tours                              622-1980

Tony Farina                             One Niagara                                 603-1181

Taylor Cirnito                          Niagara Falls HS Student                    807-4889

Christina Beal                          Niagara Falls HS Student                    545-5324

Pam Smith                               Niagara Falls HS Student                    286-7931

Michael K. Paladino                     Laborer’s Local #91                         297-6441

Vincent M. Mameli                       Niagara Falls Tourism Board                 812-0448

Bill Torchia                            Niagara Majestic                            583-2753

Nick Melson                             NYS Assembly 138th Dist.                    282-6062

Paul Tronolone                          USA Niagara                                 284-2556

Rodger Spurback                         Niagara Falls Block Club Council            285-2556
PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 2 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

               NAME                          ORGANIZATION                                                          Phone No. (716)

Rick Horn                                    Business Community                                                           285-5426

Larry Beahan                                 Sierra Club                                                                  839-3112

William E Geiben                             Parkway Preservation Committee                                               481-7844

Tom Lowe                                     Wild Ones Niagara                                                            913-5324

Michelle Vanstrom                            Wild Ones Niagara                                                            913-3736

Beverly Borgatti Barthel                     Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council                                    284-6753

Daniel Davis                                 Niagara Frontier Wildlife Habitat Council                                    284-4705

Mary Borgognoni                              Niagara University                                                           286-8352

                                             Main Street Business and Professional
Frank T. Brzenzinski                                                                                                      639-8893
                                             Association

Judy Willard                                 Niagara University                                                           286-8421

Lisa Vitello                                 Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board                                         579-9383

Bill Hudson                                  Buffalo Audubon Society                                                   800-377-1520

Jennifer Pauly                               Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce                                     754-9500

George Osborne                               Artpark                                                                      754-9000

Jon Schultz                                  Upper Mountain Fire Department                                               297-0330

Gay Molnar                                   Aquarium of Niagara                                                      285-3575 x204

Robert Emerson                               Old Fort Niagara                                                         745-7611 x228

Jane Rice                                    EDR Companies                                                             315-471-0688

Michael A. Parsnick                          Preserve De Veaux

                                             Niagara County Environmental Management
Gail Walder                                                                                                               751-9679
                                             Council


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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 3 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

               NAME                          ORGANIZATION                                                          Phone No. (716)

Eileen Fox                                   Bedore Tours, Inc.                                                           696-3200

Doreen O’ Connor                             Niagara Majestic, d/b/a Grey Line                                            791-4611

Bob Baxter                                   Niagara Heritage Partnership                                                 289-2214

Renata Kraft                                 Buffalo Niagara River Keeper                                                 998-3487

Richard Soluri                               Parkway Preservation Committee

Thomas J. De Santis                          City of Niagara Falls Planning                                               286-4470

                                             New York State Office of Parks, Recreation
Mark Thomas                (MT)                                                                                        716.278.1702
                                             and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP)
                                             New York State Office of Parks, Recreation
David Szuba                (DS)                                                                                        716.628.4566
                                             and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP)

Andrew Giarrizzo           (AG)              New York State Office of Parks, Recreation                                716.278.1713
                                             and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP)
                                             New York State Office of Parks, Recreation
Ronald Peters              (RP)                                                                                        716.278.1775
                                             and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP)
                                             New York State Office of Parks, Recreation
Angela Berti               (AB)                                                                                        716.278.1764
                                             and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP)

Shelley Weinreb            (SW)              New York State Office of Parks, Recreation                                716.278-1799
                                             and Historic Preservation (NYSOPRHP)

Thomas Donohue (TD)                          PARSONS / Project Manager                                                 716.541.0733

Christopher Gaul           (CG)              PARSONS / Project Engineer                                                716.541.0738

Edward Stachura            (ES)              TVGA / Sr. Project Manager                                                716.655.8842




Additional
Distribution:




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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 4 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

This meeting was the fourth meeting in a planned series of meetings to bring project area stakeholders
together to discuss the initial project objectives and to gather information related to development of the
Project Scoping Report. The meeting today included stakeholders representing local community,
commercial and environmental groups. This diverse group included individuals from local block clubs,
area business, community associations, and concerned environmental preservation groups plus many
other attendees. Copies of the meeting agenda were distributed and each attendee was asked to
provide their name and agency information on a meeting sign in sheet. (copies are attached)

     1. Meeting Kickoff

               a. Mark Thomas welcomed everyone to the meeting and explained that this meeting will
                  build on the other stakeholder meetings. He stated that the invited groups will have an
                  opportunity to make a brief statement or ask questions after a short technical
                  presentation. After the invited stakeholders have had the floor, others attending the
                  meeting may make a statement provided time permits. MT also explained that funding
                  for the project was limited and that only the scoping phase would be completed at this
                  time. The scoping process helps to move this project forward and is needed to be
                  eligible for additional federal funding.

               b. Andy Giarrizzo reviewed the purpose of this meeting. The intent of this meeting is similar
                  to the first three meetings where attendees were invited to provide suggestions and
                  comments regarding the future of the Robert Moses Parkway. What considerations do
                  you want to be included in the planning and design process? Most attendees at this
                  meeting were invited from a list of project stakeholders. Andy asked that statements be
                  limited to four minutes and that all attendees vacate the NYPA building prior to the 5:00
                  pm closing time.

               c. Andy Introduced Tom Donohue.


     2. Tom Donohue reviewed several presentation slides while he explained the NYSDOT project
        development steps and what is needed to complete the Final Scoping Report.

               a. TD explained that this project will be progressed following the standard NYSDOT project
                  development process. The process includes six steps from project identification through
                  construction. This project is at the third step “Project Scoping”. During scoping input
                  from various stakeholders is requested and considered to aid in the development of the
                  project needs and objectives. Activities in this phase include meetings with stakeholders,
                  public information meetings and the development of alternative concepts that meet the
                  project needs and objectives. The alternative concepts developed in this phase are very
                  preliminary and will be studied in greater detail during the subsequent project
                  development phases. A power point slide (copy attached) showing nine activities
                  completed during the Project Scoping phase was reviewed.




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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 5 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

     3. Project Study Area

               a. Aerial photographs of the project study area were presented including a display showing
                  the overall study area and the highway network being evaluated as part of the traffic
                  study. The project area is generally linear in shape following the path of the existing
                  parkway. It begins at Niagara Street in the City of Niagara Falls and extends to the
                  Village of Lewiston ending just north of Ridge Road (NY Route 104). The project area
                  extends westerly to the Niagara River and easterly a short distance into the
                  commercial/residential areas directly adjacent to existing parkway. This easterly limit is
                  generally defined by Fourth Street, Main Street and Lewiston Road.


     4. Stakeholder Meetings

               a. The initial project stakeholder meetings allow the project team to gather relevant project
                  data, hear the concerns and ideas from the stakeholders, discuss project objectives, and
                  obtain information regarding any parallel planning studies. The goal is to identify common
                  elements for inclusion in the study and identify areas or issues that will require additional
                  discussion with stakeholders. With this information we can work with stakeholders
                  towards development of a common set of project objectives and the compromises need
                  to move this project forward.

               b. The first meeting was held with the MOU group. The City of Niagara Falls, NYSOPRHP,
                  New York State Department of Transportation, and USA Niagara were included in the
                  MOU. The MOU group was formed during the Project Scoping process for the south half
                  of the parkway. It was during this meeting the development of project objectives began.

               c. Two additional stakeholders meeting were held prior to today’s meeting. One was with
                  various public agencies and elected legislators and the other was with local government
                  representatives.

               d. After the Stakeholder meetings a Public Information Meeting will be held to gather
                  comments from the general public and provide an opportunity for any group or individual
                  to express their comments at a public forum. This meeting is scheduled for November
                  30th, 2010.


     5. Project Milestone Dates

               a. TD reviewed the proposed schedule for completion of the Draft Scoping report (DSR).
                  Project tasks should be completed as follows:
                        October 2010                        Stakeholder meetings
                        November 2010                       Document development for public meeting
                        End of November 2010                1st Public Information Meeting
                        December 2010 to February 2011 Concept development
                        March 2011                          Draft DSR
                        April 2011                          Stakeholder Meetings /2nd Open House
                        May 2011                            Final DSR ( Recommended Concepts)
                        June 2011                           Final Public Meeting
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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 6 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

     6. Initial Project Objectives

               a. TD reviewed the list of 9 project objectives. This list is based in the initial project
                  objectives discussed at the MOU Group meeting and includes comments from the MOU
                  Group. (See agenda). Participants at today’s meeting today were invited to suggest
                  revisions and comments regarding the needs and objectives. Attendees were invited to
                  comment today or they can submit comments anytime after today’s meeting.


     7. Attendees were invited to make brief statements. Many of the Stakeholders presented
        statements describing their group’s views related to the project. As indicated below some
        groups also presented written statements.

               a. Buffalo River Keeper (Renata Kraft)
                         Supports efforts towards complete parkway removal.
                         Storm Water runoff from pavement is negatively impacting gorge water quality
                         Parkway is a barrier to water front access.
                         The Robert Moses Parkway is not “Carriage Road”
                         Removal of parkway promotes ecological practices, and eco-tourism.
                         Restore historic arteries (roads) outside park (helps economic development in
                          NF).

               b. Buffalo Audubon Society (Bill Hudson)
                         The Niagara Gorge is an important bird habitat area.
                         Bird Habitat experts should be consulted during alternative development.
                         Size, connectivity, and type of cover must be considered during habitat impact
                          evaluation.
                         Current lawn/and isolated tree landscape is not a good bird habitat.

               c. Cataract Tours
                        No stated comments at this time.

               d. Niagara River Region Chamber of Commerce (Jennifer Pauly)
                        Will present statement at November 30, 2010 Public Information Meeting.

               e. Main Street Business and Professional Association (Frank Brzezinski)
                        Called for open and fair assessment of all alternatives
                        Traffic impacts must be carefully evaluated.

               f.   Niagara County Environmental Management Council (Gail Walder)
                          The Council Favors removal of the existing Parkway
                          Will make formal statement at Public Information Meeting.




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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 7 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

               g. Niagara Heritage Partnership (NHP), (Robert Baxter)
                        The NHP has been advocating for removal of the Parkway for the past 12 years.
                        Questioned if Carol Ashford’s commitment to include a total removal option in the
                          alternatives developed for further is still valid. NHP is concerned that Mark
                          Thomas has not confirmed or denied NYSOPRHP’s continued commitment to
                          study a full removal alternative.
                        Parkway maintenance cost must be included in the comparison of project life
                          cycle cost. The 50 year maintenance cost for pavement infrastructure is far more
                          expensive than the long term maintenance cost for landscaped areas
                        Provided written statement at meeting.

               h. Niagara Majestic Tours (Doreen O’ Connor)
                        General Tourism and Eco-Tourism are important and growing industries both in
                          Niagara County and throughout the world.
                        Transportation is needed for all type of tourism
                        Many visitors especially seniors and individuals with reduced mobility prefer to
                          use a bus or trolley to access attractions.
                        Access to the Niagara Gorge Corridor attractions must provided for everyone.

               i.   Niagara Falls Tourism Advisory Board (Lisa Vitello)
                          The Board Supports removal of the Parkway and the creation of additional park
                            land.
                          We are not putting our best foot forward, the Parkway cuts off the connection
                            between the City of Niagara Falls and the gorge waterfront.
                          Potential growth in Eco-tourism is a very large if the Parkway is removed.
                          The government should fund projects that improve the quality of life.

               j.   Niagara University
                          Access to the University from the City of Niagara Falls and the Village of
                            Lewiston needs to be maintained. All alternatives must consider the need to
                            maintain efficient access routes to the University.

               k. Upper Mountain Fire Department (John Schultz)
                       Access for emergency responders must be maintained.

               l.   Old Fort Niagara (OFN), (Bob Emerson)
                          Seventy percent of the revenue for Old Fort Niagara is derived from Fort visitors.
                          Most visitors that inquire about travel time between the City of Niagara Falls and
                            OFN are happy the trip only takes 20 minutes.
                          OFN is opposed to any alternative that significantly impedes access to Fort
                          OFN looks forward to a compromise that meets everyone’s needs.

               m. Wild Ones Niagara
                        Asked for full removal of Parkway and restoration of parkland.
                        Area cultural fabric is interrupted by the Parkway. Must find way to restore
                         connections within the community.
                        A full removal option must be included with the project alternatives to allow a fair
                         and comprehensive review of the alternatives.

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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 8 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 

               n. Niagara Falls Habitat Council (Beverly Barthel)
                        Supports total Parkway removal and creation of additional wildlife habitat.
                        Additional habitat will attract birds, butterflies and other wildlife.
                        Parkway cuts off De Veaux Woods.

               o. Niagara Falls Habitat Council (Daniel Davis)
                        Presented a copy of the Comprehensive Plan for the City of Niagara Falls.
                          Implementation of this plan requires parkway removal.

               p. Preserve De Veaux (Michael A. Parsnick)
                        Supports partial removal of the Parkway (between Niagara St. and Findlay Dr.)
                        Keep the rest of the Parkway the way it is.
                        Shifting traffic from the Parkway to alternate routes will not help Main Street
                         redevelopment that much.
                        Shifting additional traffic to the alternate routes such as Lewiston Road is
                         undesirable and will impact the safety of neighborhood children on their way to
                         school or at local playgrounds.

               q. Parkway Preservation Committee.( Richard Soluri)
                        The Parkway is a critical link to many area attractions and helps support the
                         economic prosperity in northern Niagara County
                        3 studies have recommended keeping the Parkway open
                        The committee is open to compromise regarding the future location and
                         configuration of the parkway.

               r.   De Veaux Woods area Block Clubs (Rodger Spurback)
                         Represents 38 NF Block Clubs and about 29,000 area residents
                         Road separates city and Gorge area. Without this barrier area might be quite
                           different with resort buildings built on the waterfront.

               s. Wild Ones Niagara (Jane Rice)
                        Successful roadway removal and community revitalization projects in cities such
                         as Seattle, Boston, and San Francisco have shown that connecting roadways
                         can be removed without significant impacts on existing tourist destinations.
                        Look to the road removal project in Chattanooga Tennessee (a city similar to
                         Niagara Falls) to see what can be done.
                        Review facts, see Wild Ones Niagara Study, and “Olmsted plan”.

               t.   Parkway Preservation Committee (William E Geiben??)
                          A dedicated road is need to connect the communities of Lewiston and Niagara
                           Falls
                          The definition of “parkway” is not clear. We should define exactly what a
                           parkway is as it relates to this project.
                          Favors additional tie-in of the City of Niagara Falls with the waterfront.

               u. Sierra Club (Larry Beahan)
                         Parkway should be removed to aid in preserving wildlife habitat and promoting
                          eco-tourism.

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PARSONS                                                                                                                Page 9 of 9 
40 La Riviere Drive, Suite 350 
Buffalo, New York 14202 
Meeting Minutes – October 27, 2010 
 
               v. Tour provider
                        The Niagara Gorge Corridor is narrow and cannot be compared to other
                          destinations such as Alaska and other large (national) parks.
                        Eco-Tourism as a major attraction here is a myth. It will not attract large groups
                          of tourists.
                        Most tourists do not want drive very far to reach the areas attractions.
                        Keeping the Parkway as a link between attractions boosts tourism.

     8. During the meeting key points from attendees statements were noted on a presentation easel.
        The 7 pages of easel “bullet” notes further document the issues, concerns, and thoughts
        included in comments heard today.


The meeting adjourned at approximately 4:45 PM.




These Meeting Minutes represent the general nature, content and understandings of the items
discussed and/or agreed upon during this meeting and are not intended to be a verbatim transcript. Any
additions, corrections, or revisions by those attending/participating should be directed (in writing or via
E-mail) to the undersigned within five (5) business days of receipt of these Meeting Minutes or they will
be considered accurate and complete and filed accordingly.


Reported by:             ________________________                                                          ___




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                                                                     AGENDA 
 
                                  Niagara Gorge Corridor ‐ Fourth Stakeholder Group Meeting 
                                                      October 27, 2010 
 
     3:00 PM         Meeting Welcome 
          
     3:05 PM         Overview of Scoping Process 
                            Purpose of this meeting 
                           Scoping Process 
                           Previous Stakeholder meetings 
                                    a. MOU Group Meeting (Held 8/26/10) 
                                    b. Meeting with local government groups (Held 10/01/ 2010)  
                                    c. Meeting with public agencies & elected federal, state, local officials (Held 10/21/2010) 
                               Project Objectives (initial objectives are listed on reverse side) 
                              
                            Public Information Meeting  (late November or early December) 
                              
                            Project Scoping Report and Preliminary Alternatives 
                              
                            Project Schedule 
                              
                            Questions 
                             
     3:20 PM         Comments by Attendees (each speaker is limited to 4 minutes) 
                             Groups invited to this meeting included: 
                                     o Aquarium 
                                     o Artpark 
                                     o Bedore tours 
                                     o Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper 
                                     o Buffalo Audubon 
                                     o Cataract Tours 
                                     o Lewiston Council of the Arts 
                                     o Lower Niagara Chamber of Commerce 
                                     o Main Street Business Association 
                                     o Niagara County Environmental Management Council 
                                     o Niagara Heritage Partnership 
                                     o Niagara Majestic Tours 
                                     o Niagara Tourism Advisory Committee 
                                     o Old Fort Niagara 
                                     o Over the Falls Tours 
                                     o Rural Metro 
                                     o Upper Mountain Fire 
                                     o Wild Ones Niagara 
                                         
     4:40 PM         Concluding Remarks 
      
     4:50 PM         Meeting Adjournment 
      
     5:00 PM         Building Closed (per union rules all NYPA guests must depart prior to building closing) 
      
                                                  




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11/4/2010 
                                                                                                                                               
                    
           
     Initial Project Objectives (as reviewed by MOU Group) 
      
               a. Remove the excess transportation infrastructure that currently exists within the Niagara Gorge 
                   Corridor. 
               b. Provide appropriately scaled, direct, continuous and integrated improvements to the vehicular, 
                   bicycle,  pedestrian  and  public  transportation  linkages  between  the  points  of  interest  (scenic, 
                   natural, cultural and historic attractions) along the Niagara Gorge Corridor and within adjacent 
                   communities, neighborhoods and business districts. 
               c. Create  new  and  enhance  existing  connections  with  the  adjacent  community  and  the  Niagara 
                   Gorge. 
               d. Enhance opportunities for appropriately scaled uses within the Niagara Gorge Corridor by
                   expanding the park experience up to and into the adjoining communities. 
               e. Provide improved pedestrian access throughout the Niagara Gorge Corridor. 
               f. Provide  multi‐modal  recreational  trails  throughout  the  length  of  the  corridor  to  points  of 
                   interest and community destinations.  
               g. Conserve, rehabilitate and protect the natural setting of the Niagara Gorge Corridor.  
               h. Improve  the  visitor’s  and  residence’s  experience  both  in  the  park  and  in  the  adjacent 
                   community. 
               i. Support  the  Niagara  River  Greenway’s  vision  by  providing  access  to  and  connections  between 
                   the  important  resources  within  the  corridor,  giving  rise  to  economic  opportunities  for  the 
                   region. 




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11/4/2010 
                                                                                                                                               
PROCESS:
•   PROJECT IDENTIFICATION
•   PROJECT INITIALIZATION
•   PROJECT SCOPING
•   PRELIM DESIGN AND ENVIRONMENTAL
       REVIEW (NEPA/SEQRA) PHASES I-IV
               (        Q )
•   FINAL DESIGN
•   CONSTRUCTION
PROJECT SCOPING:
  1)   Gather Information
       G th I f        ti
  2)   Consider other ongoing planning efforts
  3)
   )             p     g       g
       Obtain input regarding concerns/issues
  4)   Develop purpose/needs and objectives of the project
  5)   Develop initial set of concepts
  6)   Determine anticipated social, economic and
       D       i      i i     d    i l      i    d
       environmental issues that may be affected by concepts
  7)   Obtain stakeholder and public input on concepts
  8)   Recommend alternatives that should be studied in
       detail under Phases I-IV
  9)
   )                     g          p g p
       Document findings in a Scoping Report
Project Study Area

NIAGARA STREET
(NIAGARA FALLS)

TO

ROUTE 104
(LEWISON)
Project Study Area

TRAFFIC MODEL
AREA
Initial Meetings:

1.
1    MOU GROUP – PARKS NYSDOT,
                 PARKS, NYSDOT
                    USAN,CNF

1.
1    LOCAL GOVERNMENT GROUPS
2.   AGENCIES/ELECTED OFFICIALS
3.   CULTURAL/COMMERCIAL AND
     ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS
Purpose of the Initial Group Meetings:

   • Obtain any relevant project data that
     government/municipal groups may
     possess
   • Gain understanding/input regarding
     the concerns/issues /perceived
     project objectives
   • Obtain information on parallel
     planning efforts the group may have
     undertaken.
   • Obtain input on alternative concepts
     that may be proposed by the group
PRIMARY GOAL

Work with stakeholders towards
 development of a common set of project
 objectives and work towards those
 compromises needed to move the project
 forward.
 forward
SCHEDULE
           j      j
Initial Project Objectives:
   a)   Remove the excess transportation infrastructure that
        currently exists within the Niagara Gorge Corridor.
   b)   Provide appropriately scaled, direct, continuous and
        integrated improvements to the vehicular, bicycle,
        pedestrian and public transportation linkages between
         h     i
        the points of i
                     f interest (
                                (scenic, natural, cultural and
                                     i         l    l    l d
        historic attractions) along the Niagara Gorge Corridor
        and within adjacent communities, neighborhoods and
        business districts.
   c)   Create new and enhance existing connections with the
        adjacent community and the Niagara Gorge.
Initial Project Objectives:
 d)
  )              pp              pp p        y
      Enhance opportunities for appropriately scaled uses
      within the Niagara Gorge Corridor by expanding the
      park experience up to and into the adjoining
      communities.
 e)   Provide improved pedestrian access throughout the
      Niagara Gorge Corridor.
 f)   Provide multi-modal recreational trails throughout the
      length of the corridor to points of interest and
      community destinations.
Initial Project Objectives:

            ,                  p
 g) Conserve, rehabilitate and protect the natural
      setting of the Niagara Gorge Corridor.
 h) Improve the visitor’s and residence’s experience
           in             in      j            i
      both i the park and i the adjacent community.
 i)   Support the Niagara River Greenway’s vision by
      providing access to and connections between the
      important resources within the corridor, giving
      rise to economic opportunities for the region.
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