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Grand Island supervisor wants to close 6-mile parkway

Posted: 6:31 PM, Jun 21, 2016
Updated: 2016-06-22 16:34:40Z

There's a new proposal in the works on Grand Island. Supervisor Nate McMurray wants to shut down the parkway along West River Road and turn it into a bike path.

The bike path would run between Beaver Island State Park in the South and Buckhorn Island State Park in the North.

"A bike path with this picturesque back drop with Canada on the far end here and the beautiful river would really enhance Grand Island," McMurray said.

Drivers would only be able to use the nearby Service Road, which runs next to the parkway. Now bikers are using a small strip of bike trail, but the trail ends suddenly, which could put bikers at risk of getting hit by a car.

"There are very few cars, but the cars that do come speed really quickly," McMurray said. "You saw what happened on the Scajaquada a few months back and how terrible that was. I don't want to see that type of situation happen here."

The bike path would connect Buffalo to Niagara Falls. The project could cost millions, which McMurray said the town has secured the money from the state.

Clarence Jones lives across from the parkway. He thinks the parkway shouldn't be closed to vehicles. "I say let's enhance the beauty of that area of that parkway not with roads, not with bike paths," Jones said.

A bicyclist tells 7EWN she thinks otherwise. "I would love to see another parkway," the bicyclist said. "More bike trails would be great."

"At the end it's up to the people of Grand Island about whether they want this or not," McMurray said.

The town supervisor said he will make a decision on the bike path next month, after public hearings. If the town moves forward with the project it could take up to two years to complete.