All the talk about the Moses Robert Parkway reminded me about a PBS show that actually talked about the guy and what he did. It showed how he was one of, if not thee mastermind of the bypass/thruway system around cities. It went into how this contributed to "urban sprawl and the decline of the cities, how the middle class moved out creating a severe drop in the money flowing within these half abandoned neighborhoods causing shops to closing. Which in turn hurt the working poor that had moved into these neighborhoods.
Though the Robert Moses isn't the major cause of Niagara Falls' woes it certainly is a contributor. Many businessmen in the city are quick to point out that it diverts traffic from the cities business district. Now why anyone would want to avoid our fine roads is beyond me, my broken transmission mount had nothing to do with that little pothole on Pine Ave. Ripping the whole thing up from the Grand Island Bridge into the city and from the city out to Niagara University would divert the traffic onto Hyde Park Blvd, Main, Buffalo, and Pine. I'd just feel guilty with the damage these roads will do to cars.
Erie County has raised their sales tax. Niagara Falls could look into lowering the sales tax within certain areas along with lowering the property taxes on shops and business'. These two acts could stimulate growth. Some problems are still there such as several individuals owning a large portion of the downtown area but only sitting on the properties (speculating). To raise "revenue" that has been lost to the previous cuts and to encourage the improvement of deteriorated properties impose a "blight" tax within these areas, say every month, $1,000 per sq foot of plywood on windows.
Seems the biggest hurtle within the city is the city itself, meaning the government. The only ones that seem to be able to get anything done are those that know someone. I'm a big fan of Ayn Rand, one character John Galt was asked by a government official what they could do to help him. His reply says it all "Get out of the way". I've had several friends approach the city about buying vacant city buildings and start their ideas for bussiness’ and every one of them heard the phrase "It's not what we have in mind". Plywood is? Here's an idea, the next city official to spew that phrase must bank roll what they do have in mind, not with tax money but with their own personal bank account. Allow the people willing to risk their own money on something to do so the way they see fit. With all the failed pipe dreams and big promise fix alls the city has thrown taxpayer money at, maybe it's time to let those who built the city to it's glory days, do so again. Who? The Individual, and get the hell out of the way.