Niagara Power Project FERC No. 2216

 

ADDENDUM TO THE RECREATIONAL FACILITY USE AND CAPACITY INVESTIGATION

 

HTML Format.  Text only

 

Prepared for: New York Power Authority 

Prepared by: Kleinschmidt Associates

 

August 2005

 

___________________________________________________

 

Copyright © 2005 New York Power Authority

 

 

1.0             INTRODUCTION

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is engaged in the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston, Niagara County, New York.  The present operating license for the Project expires in August 2007.  As part of its preparation for the relicensing of the Niagara Project, NYPA is developing background information related to the ecological, engineering, recreational, cultural, and socioeconomic aspects of the Project. 

This report has been prepared as an addendum to the NYPA Niagara Power Project Recreational Facility Use Capacity Investigation (RFUCI) report dated May 2003.  The purpose of the addendum is to report on the results of additional recreation survey work conducted at three recreation sites located on the Upper Niagara River: Tow Path Park, Bird Island Pier, and Broderick Park.  These three sites were added to the survey in response to stakeholder requests to broaden the geographic scope of the study to include “Project-related, water – and waterfront access facilities on the American side of the Niagara River from the Peace Bridge to the mouth at Lake Ontario.” 

In addition to collecting additional recreational use data, NYPA has also updated its inventory and condition assessment to include recreational facilities along the Upper Niagara River between Grand Island and the Peace Bridge as requested by stakeholders.  An earlier inventory and assessment commissioned by NYPA (Niagara Power Project Recreation Facilities Inventory and Assessment) focused on sites between Grand Island and Lake Ontario.  Results of the updated inventory and condition assessment are provided as an appendix to this addendum (See Appendix B). 

1.1             Study Objectives

The objectives of the RFUCI were to estimate:

·        current public usage of recreation sites at the Niagara Power Project and in its vicinity

·        available capacity of each of these sites

·        percent of capacity that is currently being used by the public at each recreation site

1.2             Study Area

The study area for the RFUCI extended from the Peace Bridge northward to the mouth of the Niagara River at Lake Ontario (see Map 1.2-1), and includes the three sites addressed in this document.  

 

Map 1.2-1

Study Area

 

2.0             METHODS

Data collection and analyses methods utilized for this effort are identical to those used for the RFUCI.  Methods are summarized below with additional details available in the RFUCI (2003).  For this effort, a program of primary data collection was undertaken, which included counts of recreationists using each site on a selected sample of days.  As with the previous investigation, a roving survey technique was used in which a monitor visited each recreation site multiple times a day on a set of pre-scheduled dates.  Collected data included instantaneous vehicle counts, supplemented by occasional longer-duration observations to collect data on activities and people per vehicle.  A stratified random sample that considered time of day and type of day (weekday, weekend, and holiday) was used.  Holidays are also referred to as “peak weekends” throughout this report and include the holiday itself, such as the Fourth of July, and the associated weekend.  An example of the data collection form and monitoring schedule are provided in Appendix A.  The use of vehicle counts as a surrogate for visitor use and capacity utilization is a well accepted methodological approach that  is commonly used in a variety of recreation settings.  The approach serves as a good technique for estimating overall recreational use pressure and can be used to target the need for potentially more detailed investigations, particularly in terms of capacity utilization.

Data were collected from May 2003 through November 2003.  Standard expansion techniques were used to extrapolate instantaneous vehicle counts into average daily use estimates by month and day type for summation and generation of monthly use estimates by site (Pollock et al. 1994).  For the purposes of this study, recreation use is measured in “recreation days” as defined by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).  FERC defines a recreation day as each visit by a person to a development for recreational purposes during any portion of a 24-hour period. 

Parking capacity was used as the primary indicator of recreation site capacity and the percentage of parking space utilized at any given time was used as the measure of capacity utilization.  Table 2.5-1 shows available parking at each site.  None of these locations provide boat access to the river, nor parking for vehicles with trailers.  Data collected during longer duration monitoring from June 2003 through August 2003 was used to develop shoreline activity profiles of recreation users for each site.  As none of the recreation sites in this investigation have boat launching facilities, nearly all of the recreation use observed was attributed to shoreline activities.  There were a few individuals, however, that were noted as having a primary activity of boating (either pleasure boating or boat fishing) during on-site monitoring efforts.  However, these individuals were observed off-shore and, therefore, not associated with use attributable to the sites included in this investigation.  These observations were dropped from the analysis as boating use is assumed to be 0% of total use and only shoreline activities were therefore evaluated.

 

Table 2.5-1

Available Parking at Each Surveyed Site

Site

Number of Parking Spaces

Upper River Sites

 

Tow Path Park

8

Bird Island Pier

50

Broderick Park

76

 

 

 

3.0             RESULTS

Results indicate that these recreation sites supported approximately 70,600 recreation days during the May through November 2003 recreation season.  The heaviest used site was Broderick Park, accounting for over 50 percent of total estimated use (Table 3.0-1).  

Overall, recreational use at these sites is within the existing facility design capacities.  However, results show that use at Tow Path Park and Bird Island Pier is exceeding, or reaching capacity, respectively, during high use days.  The estimated percent capacity used at each site is shown in Table 3.0-2 by day type (weekday, weekend day, and holiday), by month, and overall.  The distribution of activities observed at each site is provided in Table 3.0-3.  Sections 3.1 through 3.3 provide site specific information regarding use, capacity, and activities distribution.

3.1             Tow Path Park

·                  Use was relatively consistent during the summer recreation season (May through August) at approximately 1,000 recreation days per month.

·                  Average weekday and weekend use approximately the same.

·                  Average peak weekend (holiday) use was more than double average weekday use.

·                  Highest observed use was 16 vehicles during the Fourth of July holiday.

·                  Highest monthly average weekday use was 4 vehicles in May.

·                  Highest monthly average weekend use 4 vehicles in June.

·                  A total of 189 users were observed over 15 one-hour observation periods (average of approximately 13 people per hour).

·                  The predominant shoreline activities observed at the site during on-site monitoring were shoreline fishing (44 percent), parking (24 percent), and sightseeing (18 percent).

·                  Use rarely exceeded existing parking capacity.  The site was at or above 100 percent of its capacity approximately 4 percent of the time.

 

3.2             Bird Island Pier

·        High estimated use during the summer months - use was consistently over 5,000 recreation days per month for June through August.

·        Average weekend use was slightly higher than weekday use.

·        Average peak weekend (holiday) use was about double average weekday or weekend use.

·        Highest observed use was 49 vehicles on August 17.

·        Highest monthly average weekday use was 13 vehicles in August.

·        Highest monthly average weekend use was 21 vehicles in June.

·        A total of 802 users were observed over 15 one-hour observation periods (average of approximately 54 people per hour).

·        The predominant shoreline activities observed at the site during on-site monitoring were parking (34 percent), walking (25 percent), and shoreline fishing (21 percent).

·        Use was never observed as exceeding existing parking capacity but did not come close to capacity on high use days such as the Fourth of July holiday. 

3.3             Broderick Park

·        High estimated use during the summer months - use was consistently over 7,500 recreation days per month for June through August.  Use peaked in August at approximately 9,000 recreation days.

·        Average weekend use was about the same as average weekday use.

·        Average peak weekend (holiday) use was about double average weekday or weekend use

·        Highest observed use was 45 vehicles during the Fourth of July holiday.

·        Highest monthly average weekday use was 23 vehicles in August.

·        Highest monthly average weekend use was 21 vehicles in August.

·        A total of 832 users were observed over 15 one-hour observation periods (average of approximately 54 people per hour).

·        The predominant shoreline activities observed at the site during on-site monitoring were parking (33 percent), shoreline fishing (31 percent), and sightseeing (14 percent).

·        Use was never observed as exceeding existing parking capacity. 

 

Table 3.0-1

Use Estimates for Additional Niagara Project Recreation Sites (May 2003-November 2003)

Site

Weekend

Weekday

Peak Weekend

TOTAL

Upper River Sites

 

 

 

 

Tow Path Park

3,100

1,200

500

4,800

Bird Island Pier

15,300

7,400

2,300

25,000

Broderick Park

27,100

10,600

3,100

40,800

TOTAL

45,500

19,200

5,900

70,600

 

 

 

Table 3.0-2

Estimated Percent Capacity Used at Additional Niagara Project Recreation Sites (May 2003–November 2003)

Day/Month

Tow Path Park

Percent Capacity

(%)

Bird Island Pier

Percent Capacity

(%)

Broderick Park

Percent Capacity

(%)

Weekday

18

17

20

Weekend

23

23

20

Peak Weekend

48

35

32

May 2003

42

21

25

June 2003

36

28

27

July 2003

27

28

26

August 2003

30

27

29

September 2003

16

19

21

October 2003

12

13

14

November 2003

4

6

8

Overall

22

20

21

 

 

Table 3.0-3

Shoreline Activities Observed During On-Site Monitoring

Primary Activity

Tow Path

Bird Island Pier

Broderick Park

Total # of People Observed

Percent of Total People Observed

Total # of People Observed

Percent of Total People Observed

Total # of People Observed

Percent of Total People Observed

Shoreline Fishing

78

44%

167

21%

248

31%

Swimming

0

0%

33

4%

0

0%

Running/Jogging

0

0%

4

1%

0

0%

Walking

20

11%

195

25%

99

12%

Biking

2

1%

6

1%

3

0%

Picnicking

0

0%

9

1%

24

3%

Sight Seeing

33

18%

81

10%

109

14%

Parking

43

24%

274

34%

266

33%

Other

3

2%

28

4%

47

6%

Total

179

100%

797

100%

796

100%

 

 

 

REFERENCES

R1019214975 \ Text Reference: Pollock et al. 1994 \ Pollock, K.H, C.M. Jones, and T.L Brown.  1994.  Angler Survey Methods and their Application to Fisheries Management: American Fisheries Society Special Publication 25.  Bethesda, MD: American Fisheries Society.

 

APPENDIX A – FIELD SURVEY MANUAL, SCHEDULE, AND DATA SHEETS

Field Survey Manual with Attachments (Schedule and Data Sheet)

Standard Operating Procedure

Recreation Counts and Observations

 

 

Count Information

 

The study period will run from May 24, 2003, to the end of the fall fishing season.  The summer season will be from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  The fall season will be from Labor Day until fall fishing is complete.  The work will involve weekends, weekdays, and holidays.  Completed data forms will be faxed once a week to Heather Seiders at E/PRO.  The original forms will be mailed once a month to E/PRO’s Maine Office.

 

The two types of counts that are needed are Instantaneous Counts and Observation Counts.

 

The Observation Counts will be used to calibrate the instantaneous counts.  Information that will be recorded will include length of stay, people per car, and activities participated in.  These numbers will be used to estimate percent capacity utilization.  These counts will be done randomly to cover 6 weekdays and 6 weekend days.  In addition to these counts, one weekend day per holiday will also need to be covered.  This will exclude Memorial Day due to the delayed start of the study.  This would be a total of 14 observations.  The Observation Counts will be a minimum of one hour at each site.  The start times need to be varied to capture different recreation activities throughout the day. 

 

Instantaneous Counts

 

The first part of the study will be the Instantaneous Counts.  These counts will be performed each time the creel taker enters the recreation facility and each time the creel taker exits the facility.  Each count should take only a couple of minutes.  The number of vehicles observed at a site will be recorded upon arriving at the site.  A second vehicle count will be done prior to departure of the site.  The notes section of the survey form is to record general weather condition and whether any special events are occurring.  The schedule for these counts will be the same as the creel schedule.  Make sure that time is recorded using a military format.  Also the observer should record their initials, the date, and day type.  One form will be used per day.  Time for each count will be recorded per site in the appropriate box below.  (See form attached)

 

Instantaneous Count Form

 

Monitor’s Initials:____________                                                                                                       Date:______/____/____

Type of Day (Circle One):  Weekday    Weekend    Holiday                                                         (Month/Day/Year)

                                                           

Site

Count #1

Count #2

Time

(military)

No. Vehicles

No. Trailers

Time

(military)

No. Vehicles

No. Trailers

Tow Path Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bird Island Pier

 

 

 

 

 

 

Broderick Park

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes:

 

 

 

Recreation Observations

 

The second part of the study will be the Observation Counts.  These longer counts are necessary to calibrate the Instantaneous Counts.  Upon arriving on site, the observer will record the number of groups on site.  This will be done by estimating which people are together in a single group.  Each group will be recorded on a separate line of the observation sheet noting the number of people in each group.  The arrival time will have a line drawn through it indicating that the people were already on site when the observer arrived.  The observer will indicate the primary activity of each group by putting a “p” in the corresponding activity box.  The secondary activity of each group will be recorded by putting a “s” in the appropriate box.  The observer will then station themselves in a spot where the can observe and record the time in, time out, number of people per vehicle, primary activity and secondary activity for each car that arrives.  The observer should also record the time out for those groups that were on site when the observer arrived but left prior to the end of the observers shift.  A line should be drawn through departure time for those groups still on site at the end of a shift. 

 

To determine activity please use your best judgment.  If an individual is carrying a fishing pole then record shorefishing.  If an individual/group is participating in an activity not indicated on the sheet check the box marked other and record the activity in the notes sections of that row.  One form will be used per site, per observation count. 

 

On the top of the form the observer will record the site name, their initials, the date, the day type, the start and end times, and also note the weather at the bottom of the first page.  Time should also be recorded in a military format on these sheets.  The data sheet is located on the next page. 

 

The information regarding color, make and model of vehicle is for the observer’s benefit only.  This information may or may not help the observer keep track of the different groups that arrive. 

 

 

NIAGARA POWER PROJECT (FERC No. 2466)

Recreation Observation Form

Page ______ of_______

 

Site: _______________________________________   Monitor’s Initials:____________                                  Date:______/____/____

Start Time____: ____End Time____:_____              Type of Day (Circle One):  Weekday    Weekend    Holiday    (Month/Day/Year)

               (military)             (military)

Color

Make

Model

 

Arrival Time

(military)

 

No. People

Per Vehicle/Group

Observed Recreation Activities

Notes

Description of Group

Departure Time

(military)

Pleasure Boating

Shoreline Fishing

Boat Fishing

Swimming

Run/Jogging

Walking

Bicycling

Picnicking

Bird Watching

Sight Seeing

Parking

 

Other (Specify)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Notes: If a group is participating in multiple activities, identify the primary activity by placing a “p” in the appropriate box.  To identify the secondary activity, place an “s” in the appropriate box.  Use your best personal judgment in determining between primary and secondary activities.

 

Contact Information

 

Heather Seiders

 

E/PRO Engineering and Environmental Consulting, LLC

249 Western Ave.

Augusta, ME 04330

 

(207) 621-7081 (Work)

(207) 621-7001 (FAX)

(207) 215-5147 (Cell) 

(207) 623-1251 (Home)

 

Email address:  hseiders@eproconsulting.com. 

 

On-site Monitoring Schedule

Upper Niagara River Recreation Survey

Observation Survey Dates-Times-Locations

Date

Day

Creel Time

Recr. Survey Time

Start Location

1-Jun

Sunday

PM

AM-0630

Towpath

5-Jun

Thursday

NONE

AM-0830

Ferry St.

22-Jun

Sunday

AM

PM-1430

Bird Island Pier

25-Jun

Wednesday

NONE

AM-0630

Towpath

28-Jun

Saturday

AM

PM-1600

Bird Island Pier

2-Jul

Wednesday

PM

AM-0830

Bird Island Pier

5-Jul

Saturday (HOL)

AM

PM-1600

Bird Island Pier

22-Jul

Tuesday

NONE

AM-0830

Towpath

2-Aug

Saturday

AM

PM-1430

Bird Island Pier

3-Aug

Sunday

PM

AM-1030

Towpath

8-Aug

Friday

AM

PM-1430

Ferry St.

16-Aug

Saturday

AM

PM-1430

Ferry St.

20-Aug

Wednesday

AM

PM-1600

Bird Island Pier

31-Aug

Sunday (HOL)

PM

AM-1030

Towpath

Notes

1)  Ferry St is local name for Broderick Park

2)  Based on start location, subsequent site order is:

If Towpath, then Ferry St and Bird Island Pier

If Ferry St., then Bird Island Pier and Towpath

If Bird Island Pier, then Ferry St. and Towpath.

3) NONE = creel survey off day; time selected at random.

 

APPENDIX B – RECREATION FACILITY INVENTORY AND ASSESSMENT UPDATE

 

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The New York Power Authority (NYPA) is engaged in the relicensing of the Niagara Power Project in Lewiston, New York.  As part of relicensing preparation, NYPA conducted an initial Niagara Power Project Recreation Facilities Inventory and Assessment (RFIA) study in 1999 that focused on the Niagara River from Grand Island to Lake Ontario.  Subsequent to the initial RFIA, the study area for relicensing studies was expanded to include the Upper Niagara River from the Peace Bridge northward to Grand Island.  As a result, NYPA commissioned the Niagara Power Project Recreation Facilities Inventory and Assessment update (RFIAU) study described herein for 11 additional recreation sites outside the Project boundary including: two state parks (both with frontage on the Niagara River), eight smaller waterfront parks and fishing access points (five with boat ramps and two with fishing piers), and a marina.

Outdoor recreation facilities in the RFIAU study area include picnic tables and grills, picnic shelters, vista points and overlooks, restrooms, boat ramps, fishing piers, trails, playgrounds, a basketball court, soccer and football fields, baseball diamonds, and a golf course.  These facilities support both passive and active recreation, including sightseeing, fishing, boating, hiking, and a variety of outdoor sports.  All of the recreation sites provide public access to the Niagara River shoreline.  With the possible exception of the marina, shoreline fishing would appear to occur at all of these sites, six of which also provide boat launches. 

The overall condition of the recreation facilities in the study area is good.  However, most of the recreation facilities in the study area were developed prior to 1970, and their condition is reflective of their age.  Some facilities suffer from a lack of maintenance and ADA compliance issues were noted at almost every facility. 

 

 

1.0       INTRODUCTION

In preparation for relicensing of the Niagara Power Project (FERC No. 2216), the New York Power Authority (NYPA) has begun the process of collecting baseline information needed for the development of a Report on Recreation Resources.  Applicable Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) regulations require preparation of a Report on Recreation Resources to “discuss existing and proposed recreational facilities and opportunities at the project” (18 CFR § 4.51).  These regulations specifically require that the Report on Recreation Resources include a recreational facilities description, estimate of existing and potential recreational use of the project area, and any measures or facilities recommended or proposed for enhancing recreational opportunities at or within the vicinity of the project.  The Recreation Facilities Inventory and Assessment was commissioned by NYPA as one of several steps in developing a Report on Recreational Resources for a new license application for the Niagara Power Project.  This update to that document is referred to as the Recreation Facilities Inventory and Assessment Update (RFIAU) and provides supplemental information about recreation sites in an expanded study area.

The purpose of the RFIAU is to establish baseline information about existing outdoor recreation facilities and opportunities located along the Upper Niagara River.  The specific objective of the inventory was to identify and document the general condition of existing recreation facilities.

The RFIAU includes recreation facilities that are outside the FERC Project Boundary; these facilities are associated with the Niagara River, but not directly related to the Project.  The study area for the RFIAU is shown in Figure 1.0-1.  It extends from the Peace Bridge to the Grand Island Bridge within the United States, encompassing the Niagara River and all of Grand Island.  It includes Tonawanda Township, the Cities of Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, and the City of Buffalo, with a focus on those opportunities and facilities located along the Niagara River.

 

Figure 1.0-1

Map of Study Area

 

2.0       METHODOLOGY

The RFIAU employed the same methodology utilized in the Recreation Facilities Inventory and Condition Assessment conducted in 1999 for Niagara Falls and the Lower Niagara River.  The study involved three primary tasks:

1.                identify and locate existing recreation facilities within the study area;

2.                inventory the type of facilities at each location and the type of recreation opportunities provided; and

3.                assess the physical condition of the existing facilities.

The RFIAU is a reconnaissance level assessment.  It is based on site visits and did not involve detailed engineering evaluations or any consideration of facility demand or use.  Evaluations of site conditions were based on field observations and a standardized condition assessment methodology (as described below).  The assessment methodology was designed to characterize the general condition of the existing facilities visited as “good”, “fair”, or “poor”.  It is intended as an initial screening to highlight those facilities that may require further evaluation and attention.  The condition assessment focused strictly on outdoor facilities.  Indoor facilities (including restrooms and concession stands), were not open during the time of the site visits and were, therefore, not evaluated as part of this study.

Facilities were initially identified and located using existing maps and reports, and were inventoried and/or assessed using a standard inventory and evaluation form specifically designed for the study.  A copy of the form is included as Appendix B1.  The site visits involved study personnel only and no contact was made with the sites' owner or manager.

A listing of the specific site facilities is included in the inventory and provided in Section 3.0 of this report.  Detailed site descriptions are provided in Appendix B2.  Information collected at each site consisted of the following:

·        Type of Facility (e.g., day use park, boating access site, etc);

·        Site Facilities and Site Condition (including an assessment of compliance with the ADA);

·        Roads, Parking, Signs, and Landscaping (including parking capacity estimates and information on the type and condition of existing surfacing);

·        Recreation Activities (expected or known to occur at the site); and

·        General Site Information (including observed site opportunities and constraints).

An overall assessment of facility condition was developed for each site visited.  The evaluation included general engineering considerations that could be identified based upon  visual observations, but did not include detailed structural evaluations, measurements, or any cost estimation for potential repairs or facility replacements.  Condition evaluations were based on an assessment of five primary site variables and a combined evaluation/scoring using the criteria and point system shown in Table 2.0-1.

Scores developed for each of the primary assessment variables were summed to derive an overall condition score for each site.  Overall evaluation scores were then interpreted using the criteria shown in Table 2.0-2.  If a site did not contain a listed variable, such as buildings, no score was assigned to this variable.  Overall evaluation scores were derived from the sum of the recorded individual scores divided by the maximum possible score for the site.  Results are reported on a scale ranging from excellent to poor. 

 

Table 2.0-1

Site Condition Evaluation Criteria and Rating System

 

Variable

Points

 

0

1

2

Roads and Parking (circulation and condition of surface paving)

All surfaces are in disrepair and need of immediate reconditioning or replacement.  Current conditions create safety hazards.

Need for improved maintenance and repair in some areas.  No major safety concerns.

All surfaces in excellent condition and well maintained.  No rehabilitation required within the next 5 - 10 years.

Recreation Amenities

(condition of facilities such as picnic tables, boat ramps, and signs)

Facilities require immediate repair or replacement.  Little evidence of recent maintenance.

Some facilities damaged or in need of replacement.  Could be accommodated through routine maintenance.

Facilities generally in good condition and well maintained.

Buildings

(condition of restrooms, maintenance buildings, and other structures)

Structures in disrepair requiring immediate attention.  Significant rehabilitation likely.  Problems could include rot, leaks, and sagging roofs.

Some structures need minor repairs, such as painting or replacement of siding.  Repairs should be made, but are not needed immediately.

All structures appear in sound, well maintained condition.  No significant problems observed.

ADA Compliance

(presence of accessible facilities and other ADA considerations)

Little or no consideration for handicap accessibility.  Clearly not in compliance with ADA standards.

Some handicap facilities, but in disrepair or not up to current standards (e.g., slopes too steep, docks inaccessible, etc.)

High quality of accessibility.  Facilities appear fully consistent with current ADA standards.

Landscaping

(including landscape features such as fencing and safety barriers)

Site and facilities heavily overgrown and unkept.  Conditions potentially hazardous or unsafe.  Need for immediate maintenance.

Some site maintenance needed, but generally minor and routine.  No significant safety hazards.

Landscaping and landscape features in excellent condition and well maintained.

 

Table 2.0-2

Overall Condition Evaluation Criteria

 

Total Score

Evaluation

10

Excellent condition

7 - 9

Good condition requiring routine care.

4 - 6

Fair condition, may require some rehabilitation.

< 4

Poor condition, likely to require immediate rehabilitation work.

 

 

3.0       EXISTING RECREATION OPPORTUNITIES AND FACILITIES

A variety of recreation opportunities exist in the study area, ranging from sightseeing and attraction-oriented tourism to municipal playgrounds.  Specific outdoor recreation facilities found in the study area include picnic sites and shelters, vista points and overlooks, restrooms, boat ramps, fishing piers, marinas, playgrounds, a beach, a basketball court, soccer and football fields, baseball diamonds, and a golf course. 

A total of 11 existing public recreation sites were identified and included in the RFIAU.  These include three facilities located on Grand Island (Big Six Mile Creek Marina, Buckhorn Island State Park and Beaver Island State Park).  The recreation developments inventoried and/or assessed in this investigation include:

·        Buckhorn Island State Park

·        Beaver Island State Park

·        Big Six Mile Creek Marina

·        Gratwick Park

·        Niawanda Park

·        Isle View Park

·        Ontario Street Boat Launch

·        Sheridan Drive Boat Launch

·        Tow Path Park

·        Broderick Park

·        Bird Island Pier

These recreation sites include two State Parks (both with frontage on the Niagara River), eight smaller waterfront parks and fishing access points (five with boat ramps and two with fishing piers), and a marina.  Table 3.0-1 provides a listing of the recreation sites included in the RFIAU, the jurisdictional location of each, and the specific recreation facilities that exist at each site.  The general location of each site is shown in Figure 1.0-1.  Figure 3.0-3 presents representative photographs of recreation facilities in the study area. 

There are eight public launches within the study area that provide boat access to the Niagara River, one of which is a hand-carry launch while the rest are trailered boat launches.  Public shoreline fishing access is provided at all of the sites inventoried.  There are eight developed fishing piers located at five of the sites in the study area, including the Bird Island Pier and the Woods Creek Fishing Pier at Buckhorn Island State Park, and the numerous fishing piers at Isle View Park.  Picnic facilities are also provided at Beaver Island State Park, Gratwick Park, Niawanda Park, Isle View Park, Ontario Street Boat Launch, Broderick Park, and the Bird Island Pier.  Beaver Island State Park also offers a number of other recreation facilities including a beach and boardwalk, golf course, sledding hill, bike paths, sports fields used for soccer, football and baseball, playground equipment, and a newly constructed clubhouse and pavilion.

 

Table 3.0-1

List of Recreation Sites and Facilities

 

Location

Recreation Facilities

Recreation Sites

Tonawanda Township

Tonawanda

North Tonawanda

Grand Island

City of Buffalo

 

Parking

Picnic Areas

Restrooms

Shelters/Pavilions

Overlooks

Walkways

Playgrounds

Marinas

Boat Launches

Moorings

Docks and Piers

Bank Access

Hiking

Biking

Concessions

Baseball

Soccer/Football

Basketball

Golf

Other

Buckhorn Island State Park

 

 

 

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Beaver Island State Park

 

 

 

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Big Six Mile Creek Marina

 

 

 

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Gratwick Park

 

 

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Niawanda Park

 

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Isle View Park

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Ontario Street Boat Launch

 

 

 

 

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Sheridan Drive Boat Launch

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Towpath Park

 

 

 

 

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Broderick Park

 

 

 

 

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Bird Island Pier

 

 

 

 

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Figure 3.0-3

Photographs of Representative Recreation Facilities in the Study Area

Picnic Facilities

Playgrounds

Boat Launches and Fishing Piers

Marinas

Structures

4.0       FACILITY CONDITIONS

Recreation sites in the study areas provide extensive and diverse recreation opportunities in the study area, including several unique opportunities that provide a basis for tourism and economic development. 

The overall condition of these facilities varies considerably depending on location, age, use, and maintenance.  Condition evaluation scores ranged from 6 to 10, with a rating of less than 4 being poor and a rating of 10 being excellent.  Generally, the overall condition of the recreation facilities in the study area is good.  However, a few facilities suffer from a lack of maintenance and ADA compliance issues were noted at almost every facility.  Four of the 11 sites visited were found to be in excellent condition; five were found to be in good condition and two were found to be in fair condition overall.  Conditions observed at specific sites, including why certain sites received the rating scores they did, are described in Appendix B2. 

appendices

Appendix B1 - Site Inventory and Evaluation Form

 

 

 

NIAGARA FALLS PROJECT

Site Inventory and Evaluation Form

 

Site Name/Zone: __________________________________________     Date:__________________

Location:  ____________________________________     Latitude/Longitude:_________________

Land Ownership: _________________________________________     Water Access:  Yes   No           

Managing Agency: ________________________________________     Fee:  Yes   No

 

                                   

1. Day Use Park                  4. Trail/Trailhead                      7. Other ____________________

2. Boat Access Site             5. Attraction

3. Fishing Access Site         6. Sports Facility

 

 

 

 

 

#/Size/

Capacity

Condition

(G,F,P)

ADA

(G,F,P)

Comments

Picnic Areas

 

 

 

 

Restrooms

 

 

 

 

Shelters/Pavilions

 

 

 

 

Overlooks

 

 

 

 

Walkways

 

 

 

 

Playgrounds

 

 

 

 

Marinas

 

 

 

 

Boat Launches

 

 

 

 

Moorings

 

 

 

 

Docks and Piers

 

 

 

 

Bank Access

 

 

 

 

Hiking

 

 

 

 

Biking

 

 

 

 

Interpretive Signs

 

 

 

 

Historical Site

 

 

 

 

Maintenance

 

 

 

 

Concession

 

 

 

 

Baseball

 

 

 

 

Soccer

 

 

 

 

Track

 

 

 

 

Tennis

 

 

 

 

Basketball

 

 

 

 

Lacrosse

 

 

 

 

Football

 

 

 

 

Golf

 

 

 

 

Other

 

 

 

 

Site: __________________________________________                                   Date: _______________

 

III.      Roads, Parking, Signs and Landscaping                 

 

 
 


1.      No. of Parking Spaces:                      

2.      Surfacing Type:                                            Asphalt     Concrete       Gravel       Other

3.      Surfacing Condition:                                    Good           Fair            Poor

4.      Circulation:                                                  Good           Fair            Poor

5.      Signage:                                                       Good           Fair            Poor

6.      Condition of Landscaping:                            Good           Fair            Poor

7.      Fencing and Barriers:                                    Good           Fair            Poor

8.      Obvious Safety Hazards (note):                     ______________________________________

 

Comments:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
                                                                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sightseeing                            Picnicking                Other _____________________

Fishing                                  Hiking                     Other _____________________            

Boating                                 Bicycling                 Other _____________________

Cross Country Skiing             Sledding                   Other _____________________

Comments:

 
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Site: __________________________________________                                   Date: _______________

 

V.        Site Description, Opportunities and Constraints

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VI.       Overall Site Condition Evaluation

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 


Amenity Score                                ADA Score                                     Road/Parking Score                                                            

0-2                                    0-2                                                      0-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 


Landscape Score                             Building Score                    Overall Evaluation Score

0-2                                     0-2                                                    0-10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Appendix B2 - Detailed Site Descriptions

 

 

 

Buckhorn Island State Park

Location:  River Road, Grand Island

 

Ownership:  New York State

 

Management:  New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

 

Description:   This state park covers approximately 895 acres of wetland and wildlife habitat on the north end of Grand Island.  Its recreation facilities are spread out across the park and consist of a series of overlooks, fishing piers, and parking areas connected by a biking/hiking trail system.  There are four primary staging areas in the park: West Overlook, East Overlook, Woods Creek, and a parking area on the east end of the park adjacent to the park office.  The recreation activities that this park supports are hiking, biking, fishing, non-motorized boating, wildlife/bird watching, sightseeing, and cross country skiing.

 

The park boundary begins on a section of the West River Road with the westernmost facility being the West Overlook, just north of Long Rd, with access to the hiking/biking trail system.  West Overlook provides parking for six vehicles (one ADA parking space), some benches facing the river, and a trail head with signage.  River Road traverses through the park and continues east with the next facility being the East Overlook.  The East Overlook, shown in the picture above, is comprised of a series of boardwalks, blinds and wildlife viewing platforms connected by a short gravel trail.  Interpretive signs along the trail and at the overlook to the marsh provide information regarding the various wildlife species encountered in the park.  This site also serves as a staging area for the park’s hiking/biking trail system, and provides parking for approximately 15 vehicles.  Woods Creek provides recreation opportunities north and south of the River Road.  There is a parking area with space for 12 vehicles (one ADA compliant parking space), a fishing platform, and trail head to the north of River Road.  Directly across the road from this site, there is a small gravel parking area, with capacity for approximately 4 vehicles and no ADA compliant spaces, and a gravel surface hand carry boat launch.  Again, the hiking/biking trail system can be accessed from the Woods Creek facility, north of River Road.  Finally, there is a parking area for six vehicles (including one ADA compliant parking space) adjacent to the park office.  The trail system is accessible from this staging area.  In addition to the main facilities described above, there are a series of overlooks, signs, and resting areas along and accessible only via the Buckhorn Island State Park trail system.

 

Condition:            Overall, Buckhorn Island State Park is in excellent condition.  The West Overlook site is in very good condition and appears to be newly constructed.  This site is fairly basic with a well marked, paved parking area in good condition and with good circulation.  There is also one ADA compliant parking space.  The benches, trail head, and signage are also in good condition.  The trail is well maintained and is stable and wide enough to be ADA compliant. 

 

East Overlook is also in good condition overall with a gravel parking lot and a well-maintained nature trail.  None of the spaces in the gravel lot are identified as ADA parking.  The parking area has good circulation and fences and barriers are in good condition.  This site provides a wide gravel trail and boardwalk system in good condition which provides access to wildlife blinds and a viewing platform.  The gravel trail and boardwalk are ADA compliant and the wildlife blinds have adequate space for wheelchairs.  There is also a trailhead for the hiking/biking trail system that is well marked and in good condition.

 

Woods Creek is also rated in good overall condition with a well constructed wood fishing pier and a paved and marked parking area in good condition and with good circulation.  Woods Creek provides one ADA compliant parking space.  The guardrail fence along the perimeter of the parking area is observed to be in fair condition and in need of repair in some places.  The path at Woods Creek is hard pack, in good condition, and wide enough to accommodate wheelchair access and the fishing pier is ADA compliant.  There is also a trailhead at Woods Creek and, although it is identified and in good condition, it does not appear able to accommodate wheelchair access.  There is also a gravel parking area in good condition on the opposite side of River Road at this site, although there are no ADA designated parking spaces at this site.  The boat launch itself is in fair condition being a simple gravel shore launch and is not ADA compliant.

 

The parking area at the park office is assessed to be in poor condition.  The trail head at this site is well marked and well maintained in good condition and is ADA compliant.

 

Beaver Island State Park

 

Location:  South State Parkway, Grand Island

 

Ownership:  New York State

 

Management:  New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

 

Description:         Beaver Island State Park covers 950 acres of the southern tip of Grand Island.  Its recreation facilities are numerous and include an 18-hole golf course and driving range, picnicking facilities including tables and shelters, two canoe launches, a marina, several playgrounds, two baseball fields, basketball courts, and a football/soccer field, volleyball and horseshoe pits, a Frisbee golf course, a sledding hill, a boardwalk, piers, a beach, and several parking areas.  The park is also connected and traversed by a series of bike paths, snowmobile trails, and hiking trails.  There are more interpretive facilities such as duck blinds, interpretive signs, nature trails, and a compass course.  For buildings, there is a newly constructed meeting house and pavilion, a nature center (shown in the picture above), golf club house and pro shop, concession stands, restrooms and bathhouses, the River Lea Historic farmhouse, and the park office.  Recreation activities that this park supports include hiking, biking, fishing, non-motorized and motorized boating, picnicking, Frisbee golf, organized team sports such as baseball and volleyball, wildlife/bird watching, sightseeing, golfing, and swimming.  Winter activities include cross country skiing, snowmobiling and sledding.

 

The park boundary begins at the intersection of the South State Parkway and Bush Road to the north and extends to encompass almost the entire southern tip of Grand Island from this intersection to the shoreline.  The park is delineated into five distinct “areas”.  Area 1 includes two large parking lots with over 1,200 parking spaces combined (approximately eight marked ADA spaces) providing close access to the golf course and driving range, nature center, the beach, and several picnic areas, hiking/biking trails, and recreation facilities.  There is also a 60 space parking area, with two ADA spaces, serving the meeting house and pavilion.  Area 1 also has a smaller parking area with 21 spaces primarily serving the marina, none of which are identified as ADA.  Area 2 does not have a specific parking area associated with it but does serve the sporting fields so it is expected that roadside parking is available although not identified during the site visit.  Area 3 is associated with the golf course and driving range and has one large paved parking lot with approximately 340 spaces (including four ADA spaces) and a smaller gravel lot that has a capacity of approximately 100 additional vehicles.  The River Lea Farmhouse is located adjacent to the driving range, separated by a series of nature trails.  There is a parking area at the River Lea Historic Farmhouse with a capacity of 20 vehicles (two ADA spaces).  Area 4 includes one parking area, located within proximity of the park office, with a parking capacity of approximately 72 vehicles (two ADA spaces), providing close access to the sledding hill, playground and picnic area and a scenic overlook viewing platform.  Area 5 contains the Beaver Island Nature Trail and has a parking lot with a capacity of approximately 75 spaces, one of which is ADA compliant.   

 

Two additional parking areas are available but were not inventoried or assessed in this investigation.  One is at the north end of the park boundary off of the Bush Road and serves as the staging area for the Ferry and Bush Road snowmobile trails.  The second is located at the easternmost point of the park, adjacent to the golf maintenance facilities, and serves as the trail head for the Spaulding Road and East River nature trails.

 

Condition:            Overall, this site is in excellent condition.  Many of the park facilities are spread out among the parks 950 acres and were assessed collectively.  It is important to note that indoor facilities and structures were closed at the time of this evaluation.  As such, only the condition of the exterior of buildings and structures were evaluated. 

In total, there were nine identified picnic shelters and numerous picnic areas and tables.  Picnic facilities were identified as being in good condition and are ADA compliant.  In addition to the picnic shelters, there was a newly constructed golf club pavilion overlooking the boardwalk, in very good condition and ADA compliant.  Six restrooms were identified and inventoried, ranging in exterior condition from fair to good.  Again, as the restroom facilities were closed; interior condition and ADA compliance were not able to be evaluated. 

 

Other buildings and structures for which only the exterior was evaluated include concession stands, the meeting house, maintenance buildings and the River Lea Historic Farmhouse.  Concession stands, including the golf club house and pro shop, are in good exterior condition but could not be assessed for ADA compliance.  Maintenance buildings are also well maintained outside.  No determination of ADA compliance was made for these facilities.  The River Lea Historic Farmhouse was in fair condition outside.  The parking lot at the River Lea Farmhouse is in fair condition; it provides two ADA parking spaces.  The Farmhouse itself does not appear to be ADA compliant from the outside.

 

There were numerous overlooks, walkways, and viewing platforms ranging in condition from good to fair.  The viewing platform in Area 4 appears to have been a concession stand at one point and is in fair condition.  Other scenic overlook platforms throughout the park are in good condition overall and the boardwalk in Area 1 appears to be newly constructed and is very well maintained.  The walkways, nature trails, and bike paths are in good condition overall and are well marked and maintained.  Most appear to be ADA compliant.

 

There were three playgrounds identified and inventoried during the site visit.  One playground in Area 4, adjacent to the park office, is in fair condition.  The other two playgrounds, one in Area 1 and another in Area 3, appear to be newer and are in good condition.  None of the playgrounds are ADA compliant. 

 

The marina at Beaver Island State Park consists of several docks and piers, all of which were not in the water at the time of this evaluation.  It is estimated that there are approximately 50 slips at this marina and the marina is assessed to be in fair to good condition overall.  The marina was determined to not be ADA compliant.  There are also two canoe launches at the park, both of which are listed in poor condition, are overgrown with brush and trees, and are not ADA compliant.  There is additional bank access throughout the park, such as the half mile sandy beach, that is in good condition overall but is not ADA compliant. 

 

Organized sporting facilities, such as the golf course, driving range, and baseball and soccer fields were all determined to be in good condition.  It does not appear that the sporting fields are ADA compliant, however, the golf course and driving range may be.  As the golf course was closed, ADA compliance could not be determined for this facility.  The basketball courts were observed to be in fair condition. 

 

The parking areas at Beaver Island State Park are spread out across the park and range in condition from good to poor.  All of the parking lots have good circulation, good signage, and fencing and barriers are in good condition.  Most parking lots are asphalt and in fair to good condition, specifically the parking lots serving Area 4, Area 5, and the golf course appear to be in good condition and all provide ADA parking spaces.  The gravel overflow lot serving the golf course, however, is in poor condition and does not have any ADA compliant parking.  The two large parking lots in Area 1, providing a total combined parking capacity of over 1,200 vehicles, are in fair condition with visible pavement cracks, minor wear, and a few potholes.  ADA compliant parking is available at these lots.  The lot serving the meeting house and pavilion is ADA compliant and in good condition.  Roads traversing the park are asphalt and are mostly in good condition.

 

Big Six Mile Creek Marina

Location:  Whitehaven Road, Grand Island

 

Ownership:  New York State

 

Management:  New York Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation

 

Description:         This marina facility, located on the western side of Grand Island on Big Six Mile Creek, provides a boat launch, parking for approximately 73 vehicles (33 vehicles with trailers and 40 vehicles without trailers), and 134 seasonal boat slips.  The marina also provides a concession stand selling gas and ice and provides pump out service.  Motorized boating and fishing are the recreation activities supported by this facility.

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in good condition.  The parking lot at this facility is paved and in good condition with good circulation and signage; it does not provide designated ADA parking spaces.  The docks, piers and boat launch are all identified as being in fair condition.  Although there is no designated ADA parking and the docks are not marked as such, the docks and piers appear to be wide enough to accommodate wheelchair access.  Only the exterior of the concession building, which houses the store and restrooms, was assessed and determined to be in fair condition.

 

 

Gratwick Park

Location:  Route 265, North Tonawanda

 

Ownership:  City of North Tonawanda

 

Management:  City of North Tonawanda

 

Description:         This facility provides a two-lane concrete boat launch, 25 picnic tables and a shelter, a maintenance building, and greenspace for various activities including kite flying.  Gratwick Park has extensive parking available with approximately 100 spaces for vehicles and 24 spaces for vehicles with trailers.  It also serves as the northern terminus of the Niagara Riverwalk trail, a paved biking/hiking trail that extends between Gateway and Gratwick Parks.  There are benches along the trail, facing the river.  This site supports sightseeing, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, kite flying, and picnicking.

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in good condition.  The parking lot is paved and in good condition with good circulation.  It does not provide designated ADA parking spaces although all spaces are ADA accessible.  The Niagara Riverwalk trail is paved and in good condition and is ADA accessible.  The numerous benches along the trail are also in good condition.  The picnicking facilities are in good condition, but are not ADA compliant.  Most picnic tables are located in the greenspace with 12 picnic tables located under a pavilion in good condition but with a concrete foundation that is too high for wheelchair accessibility.  The boat launch is in good condition and is ADA accessible.  The maintenance building is in good condition on the exterior.  The greenspace is mowed and is well maintained.

 

Niawanda Park

Location:  River Road, Tonawanda

 

Ownership:  City of Tonawanda

 

Management:  City of Tonawanda

 

Description:         This facility provides a five-lane concrete boat launch for boating and fishing access, 21 wood picnic tables, a fishing pier, restrooms and an amphitheater.  Niawanda Park has an extensive paved parking area, spread out among six parking lots, with a total combined capacity of approximately 195 vehicles and 32 vehicles with trailers.  It is also a part of the Niagara Riverwalk trail.  There are benches along the trail, facing the river, and a pedestrian bridge over Twomile Creek, connecting this park to Isle View Park via the Riverwalk.  This site supports sightseeing, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, and picnicking.

 

Condition:            Overall, this site is in excellent condition.  The parking lots at this facility are paved and in good condition with good circulation, signage, and fencing.  There were two identified ADA parking spaces in the lot adjacent to the amphitheater.  The Niagara Riverwalk trail is paved and in good condition and is ADA accessible from this location.  The numerous benches along the trail are also in good condition.  The picnicking facilities are in good condition and are ADA accessible.  The boat launch is in good condition with several accompanying piers in fair condition.  There were also several floating docks in good condition that were dry and stacked in one of the parking lots.  The recreation season placement of these docks is unknown.  It would not appear that the boat launching facilities are ADA accessible.  The fishing pier at this park is ADA accessible and in good condition.  It is important to note, however, that the fishing pier railing does not allow for ADA reach.  These pier railings are too high in some places to accommodate line casting.  The restrooms building is in good condition on the exterior with signage stating that they are ADA accessible.  However, a threshold of more than ½” was observed at the entrance to the restrooms.  The greenspace at this park is mowed and is well maintained.

 

Isle View Park

Location:  River Road, Town of Tonawanda

 

Ownership:  Erie County

 

Management:  Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

 

Description:         Isle View Park provides one single-lane and two double-lane boat launches, four designated fishing piers, additional docks and piers for river access, a gazebo, numerous picnic tables, a playground, restrooms and a concession stand, and a maintenance facility.  This site has an extensive paved parking area, spread out among several separate parking lots, with a total combined capacity of approximately 150 vehicles without trailers and approximately 45 vehicles with trailers.  The Niagara Riverwalk trail also runs through the park.  Like Niawanda, there are benches along the trail, facing the river.  This site supports sightseeing, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, and picnicking. 

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in excellent condition.  The parking lots at this facility are paved and in good condition with good circulation, signage, and fencing.  There were five identified ADA parking spaces in the various lots.  The Niagara Riverwalk trail is paved and in good condition and is ADA accessible from this location.  The numerous benches along the trail are also in good condition.  The picnicking facilities are in fair condition and are ADA accessible.  The boat launch adjacent to the gazebo is paved and in poor condition.  However, the additional two paved double-lane boat launches at the park are in good condition.  All of the boat launches appear to be ADA accessible.  There are four fishing piers, all in good condition, one of which is ADA accessible.  Bank fishing opportunities are also provided along the shoreline of the park which is assessed to be in fair condition due to the terrain and steep nature of the banks.

There are two restroom facilities, one located at the “Cousin Vinny” concession and the other located at the playground.  The exterior of both buildings are in good condition.  The facilities state that they are ADA accessible, however, the interior of these buildings were not evaluated to confirm this.  The maintenance building at this park is in good condition and appears to be ADA compliant.  The gazebo is in good condition and is ADA compliant with an adjoining ADA compliant river access dock in good condition.  The playground is also in good condition but is not ADA compliant.  The greenspace at this park is mowed and is well maintained.

 

Ontario Street Boat Launch

Location:  Ontario Street, City of Buffalo

 

Ownership:  Erie County

 

Management:  Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

 

Description:         The Ontario Street Boat Launch provides one double-lane boat launch, a pier, five picnic tables, restrooms and a concession stand.  This site has two paved parking areas, with three spaces for vehicles without trailers and 22 spaces for vehicles with trailers in the lot adjacent to the boat launch and additional parking for 52 vehicles without trailers along the Niagara Riverwalk trail.  This site would appear to support sightseeing, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, and picnicking. 

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in good condition.  The two parking lots at this facility are paved and in good condition with good circulation.  There are no ADA designated parking spaces, although all spaces are equally accessible.  Signage is good but the small size of the signs made it difficult to find the site, if one were to rely on roadside signage alone.  Riverwalk fencing is in good condition but parking barriers are in fair to poor condition at this site and the main parking lot seawall is in fair condition.  The Niagara Riverwalk trail is paved and in good condition at this site, with a pedestrian bridge connecting the boat launch to the trail.  The trail is ADA accessible from this location both at the entrance to the site and via the pedestrian bridge.  The picnicking facilities are in fair condition and are ADA accessible.  The boat launch is paved and in good condition.  However, the accompanying docks are in fair condition.  The boat launch and docks appear to be ADA accessible. 

 

There are restroom facilities at the “Coney Island Tow Path Snack Bar” concession and the exterior of this building is in good condition structurally but has been vandalized.  The ADA accessibility of these facilities was not able to evaluated. 

 

Sheridan Drive Boat Launch

Location:  Sheridan Drive, Town of Tonawanda

 

Ownership:  Town of Tonawanda

 

Management:  Town of Tonawanda

 

Description:         The Sheridan Drive Boat Launch provides two double-lane boat launches, three accompanying piers, a parking lot with a capacity of 46 vehicles with trailers, and provides bank access to the river.  This site is located along the Niagara Riverwalk trail but is not traversed by it.  There is also a small booth at the entrance to the site, presumed to be for fee collection or permit checking.  This site supports fishing and boating. 

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in good condition.  The parking lot at this facility is paved and in good condition with good circulation.  There are four ADA designated parking spaces.  Signage is fair and minimal.  The boat launch is paved and in good condition as are the accompanying docks.  The boat launch and docks appear to be ADA accessible.  Bank access is eroded and there are no fencing or barriers along the river at this site.  The entrance booth is in fair condition.

 

Tow Path Park

Location:  Hertel Avenue, City of Buffalo

 

Ownership:  Erie County

 

Management:  Erie County Department of Parks, Recreation and Forestry

 

Description:         Tow Path Park is a stop along the Niagara Riverwalk that provides additional loop trails and benches to rest.  This site serves as a staging area for the Riverwalk and supports sightseeing, hiking, and biking.

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in fair condition.  The parking lot at this facility is paved but in poor condition with poor circulation.  There are no ADA designated parking spaces but the lot is accessible and the Riverwalk trail is ADA accessible at this site.  Signage is good.  Fencing along the Riverwalk is in good condition.  Barriers along the perimeter of the parking lot and along the access road are in poor condition.  There was debris and trash in the corner of the parking lot at the time of the site visit and signs of vandalism were evident.

 

Broderick Park

Location:  Ferry Street/Robert Rich Road, City of Buffalo

 

Ownership:  City of Buffalo

 

Management:  City of Buffalo

 

Description:         Broderick Park is a day use park providing a fishing pier and traversed by the Niagara Riverwalk.  There are benches along the Riverwalk.  This site provides parking for approximately 76 vehicles.  This site is also a historic site, identified as a part of the Underground Railroad River Crossing.  This site supports fishing, sightseeing, hiking, and biking.

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in good condition.  The parking lot is paved with good circulation and in good condition but the paved access road to this facility is in poor condition.  Curbing in the parking lot is also in fair condition with some missing and some destroyed.  The parking lot is ADA accessible and the Riverwalk trail is ADA accessible at this site.  Signage and fencing/barriers at this site are good.  The fishing pier at this site, shown in the picture above, is actually a former canal boat pier and is deteriorated.

Bird Island Pier

Location:  Squaw Island/Robert Rich Road, City of Buffalo

 

Ownership:  City of Buffalo

 

Management:  City of Buffalo

 

Description:         The Bird Island Pier is adjacent to Broderick Park, also located on Squaw Island.  Its primary function is as a fishing pier.  There are also seven picnic tables and a picnic shelter, restrooms and a concession.  This site is traversed by the Niagara Riverwalk.  There are also benches along the Riverwalk.  There is parking for approximately 50 vehicles at this site. 

 

Condition:            Overall, this facility is in fair condition.  The parking lot at this facility is paved and in good condition but has only fair circulation as it is difficult to access and turn vehicles around at the end of the lot toward the pier.  The parking lot has no designated ADA parking spaces but is ADA accessible and the Riverwalk trail is ADA accessible at this site.  Signage at this site is good.  The fencing along the Riverwalk is in fair condition, with leaning occurring in some areas, and the rock wall barrier at the end of the pier is deteriorated.  The fishing pier at this site, shown in the picture above, is in good condition and is ADA accessible.

 

The picnic facilities at this site are in poor condition with bent and vandalized picnic tables and grills.  The picnic shelter has also been vandalized.  The picnic tables are ADA accessible, though the shelter is not.  Only the exterior of the concession, Pal’s Breakwater Café, was evaluated and appears to be in fair condition.  The restrooms were not evaluated for ADA compliance.  The greenway and landscaping at this site are in good condition.