Grand Island residents fight to keep West River Parkway opened


GRAND ISLAND, N.Y. (WIVB) — More and more people are fighting a $2.5 million project on Grand Island. A proposed bike trail on the West River parkway has some homeowners outraged.

“This is personal property, this is not here for the public, the public has plenty of places to go,” said Sandra Nelson, Grand Island homeowner.

Homeowners on West River Road put signs in their front yards this week, protesting the proposed bike trial. The proposal would turn the eight-mile scenic West River parkway into a bike and pedestrian trail. The parkway runs parallel to West River Road.

Some people say this would lead to more traffic on their street, plus unwanted parking lots along the new path.

“It’s not going to help us if we have 2,000 more cars driving down this street everyday on a road that wasn’t built to handle that kind of traffic,” said Rose Bugman, Grand Island homeowner.

Homeowners are also worried about property values, but Town Supervisor, Nathan McMurray says, it will be quite the opposite.

McMurray says transforming the waterfront will allow for a multi-use space and compared it to Canalside.

“Our greatest resource is our waterfront and the more people that can experience that and enjoy it, the better for our region. I don’t want massive development over here, I want it to be quiet, I want it to be picturesque,” said McMurray.

Residents say they are not against bike paths, they just want to keep an open parkway and a clear view of the water.

“It’s our whole livelihood, we’ve lived here for 40 years we like the way it is, we like the view of the river, we like this area, that’s why we moved here,” said Frank Greco, Grand Island homeowner.

McMurray says he understands their frustration, but also sees the beauty in enhancing Grand Island’s only waterfront.

Mcmurray says he would like to see this project get underway sometime next year. Discussions about the proposal will continue before a final approval.

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