The dual Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo USA to Fort Erie Canada will never be built.

The dual Peace Bridge Connecting Buffalo USA to Fort Erie Canal will never be built was the theme of my 2004 Masters Degree  in Education project at SUNY College at Buffalo in 2004.  I received my Masters.  I assume my findings were worth the paper they were printed on.  By 2004 the debate over the bridge was about ten years old.  Here we are nine years after my project and nineteen years after the idea was announced and the bridge still not has been resolved.

The problem then, as it is now, there are too many conflicting interests in involved in the decision-making process.  Fort Erie has 74 acres of land available for bridge services,  Buffalo has 18 acres.  Fort Erie has 30,000 residents – Buffalo 260,000.  The bridge in Fort Erie will no expand into a residential neighborhood in Buffalo it will.  Bridge traffic in Fort Erie bypasses its small central business district in Buffalo it passes right through it.  The U.S. under-staffs the bridge crossing the Canadians don’t.  The bridge is vital to Fort Erie economy (jobs) in Buffalo it is not.  The list goes on and now the Governor of New York and  Canada’s Counsel General have gotten involved and demands that people be replaced are invoked.

It is a mess.

It is time for everyone to grow up get serious and do what should have been done 20 years ago.  Settle the issue.  And here is how it must be done and done ASAP.

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and keep doing it

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until it is resolved.

Peace Out!

 

Buffalo Sister/Twinned Cities program has overlooked Canadian neighbors.

Going back to 1961, the City Of Buffalo has entered into Sister/Twinned City relationships with 9 cities around the world.  The City of Siena, Italy was the first followed by Kanazawa, Japan in 1962. It is true you don’t hear anything about what having a Sister/Twinned City to the City of Buffalo. The partners are not in the news. The Buffalo Sister/Twinned City  on-line brochure has not been updated for over 2 years. It does not even include Yildrim-Bursa, Turkey (2010) or Yeongcheong, Rep. Korea (2011). A safe bet would be to assume that 98% of the local population, including government and media members could name 3 of the Sister/Twinned cities.

Even with this unhappy situation, it is made worse. The Buffalo-Niagara Falls border crossing with Canada is among the busiest in the world. Approximately 5 million passenger vehicles cross the Peace Bridge connecting Buffalo and Fort Erie. Annual spending by 3.1 million Canadian visitors (9.2% of population) adds $900 million to the local economy. Our Buffalo Sabres’ biggest professional hockey rivals are the Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadians.

And yet, after 198 years of friendship following a nasty episode of tit-for-tat village burning during the War of 1812, there is no formal relationship between here and there. It would be sad to think this is because in reality no Canadian city wants Buffalo and/or Buffalo wants none of them. I suggest that this be given a hard look. Hands across the border is good for everyone particularly when it becomes possible to run community activities together to celebrate of differences and our neighborliness. Looking at the chart below you will find that the cities of Montreal, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Winnipeg do not have U.S. Sister/Twinned Cities arrangements. One of those for would be a good place to start relationship building.

Sister/Twinned Cities
BUFFALO, New York MONTREAL, Quebec TORONTO, Ontario
Siena, Italy Algiers, Algeria Chongqing, China
Kanazawa, Japan Amsterdam, Netherlands Chicago, Illinois
Dortmund, Germany Beersheba, Israel Frankfurt, Germany
Rzeszow, Japan Brussels, Belgium Milan, Italy
Lille, France Bucharest, Romania Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Tver, Russia Busan, Rep. Korea Kyiv, Ukraine
Saint Ann, Jamaica Casablanca, Morocco Quito, Ecuador
Yeongcheong, Rep. Korea Hanoi, Vietnam Sagamihara, Japan
Yilidrim-Bursa, Turkey Hiroshima, Japan Warsaw, Poland
Nashik, India
CALGARY, Alberta, Canada Lyon, France VANCOUVER, British Columbia
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada Managua, Nicaragua Odesssa, Ukraine
Jaipur, India Manila, Philippines Yokohama, Japan
Naulcalpan State, Mexico Milan, Italy Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Daqing, China Moca, Dominican Republic Guangzhou, China
Daejeon, Rep. Korea Port-au-Prince, Haiti Los Angeles, California
Phoenix, Arizona, USA Rome, Italy Seoul, Rep. Korea
San Salvador, El Salvador
EDMONTON, Alberta Shanghai, China WINNIPEG, Manitoba
Gatineau, Quebec, Canada Setagaya, Japan
Harbin, China OTTAWA, Ontario Reykjavik, Iceland
Nashville, Tennessee, USA Beijing, China Lviv, Ukraine
Wonju, Rep. Korea Cairo, Egypt Manila, Philippines
Taichung, Taiwan
HAMILTON, Ontario Canada QUEBEC CITY, Quebec, Canada Kuopio, Finland
Flint, Michigan, USA Beirut, Lebanon Beersheba, Israel
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA Bordeaux, France Gan Yavne, Israel
Fukuyama, Japan Calgary, Alberta, Canada Chengdu, China
Ma’anshan, China Namur, Belgium Jinju, Rep. Korea
Monterrey,Mexico Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso San Nicolas da las Garza, Mexico
Racalmuto, Italy Xi’an, China
Sarasota, Florida, USA St. Petersburg, Russia
Shawinigan, Quebec Paris, France
Valle Peligna, Italy Pekanbaru, Indonesia