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Removal of Robert Moses Parkway to boost economy

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Buffalo: Removal of Robert Moses Parkway to boost economy
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Plans for the north section of the Robert Moses Parkway in Niagara Falls include redesigning part of Whirlpool Street to bring more vehicle traffic into the city. But as YNN's Antoinette DelBel tells us, some business owners have mixed opinions on whether it would help to boost the economy.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. — The north portion of the Robert Moses Parkway currently brings traffic around the City of Niagara Falls, completely bypassing businesses. It's something local leaders want to change.

"Redesign the parkway from Findlay Drive down to Main Street in the City of Niagara Falls and redirect the traffic into the City of Niagara Falls," said Senator George Maziarz, (R) – Newfane.

The public got a chance Wednesday to look at the plans, which include removing part of the parkway along the Niagara Gorge, and redesigning a portion of Whirlpool Street into a park-like road.

City officials say traffic traveling through the city instead of around it would have a positive impact on the economy.

"Waterfront areas are the areas of growth for the economic activity," said Assemblyman John Ceretto, (R) – Lewiston.

Frank Smith co-owns Third Street Liquors downtown on Third Street. He says redirecting the traffic would not only help his business, but the surrounding area as well.

"We need to direct more of the traffic into the city by all means," he said. "It's important for the redevelopment of Main Street as well as the redevelopment of the downtown area, that we just don't have people being able to go straight to the State Park."

But not all businesses agree.

Constance Hamilton owns Sass Beauty Salon on Main Street and says she doesn't think the extra traffic flow would help.

"We already have a lot of traffic,” she said. “But, I don't know if it will help in the process of bringing anything to Niagara Falls."

Hamilton says it's not just about bringing traffic downtown, but actually bringing businesses back to the area.

"We do need businesses in order for people to stop,” she said. “All businesses are pretty much welcomed right now, because Main Street has been empty for such a long time."

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