Once-beautiful Amherst destroyed by development
Once upon a time, Thruway exit 50 terminated at Main Street. From that juncture to Sheridan Drive was a territory that included a quarry, a pond and wilderness. The neighborhood boys would roam the expanse, exploring caves, playing games of chase, catching reptiles and lolling about on the tops of the trees.
The Lord Amherst was then constructed along the pond. The Youngmann Highway decimated most of the natural aspects, and Livingston Parkway was extended toward the water, eliminating practically all, save the artificial. This last intrusion is currently populated by people paradoxically known as the Friends of Mike’s Pond. The transition has been labeled progress.
Another incursion is proposed for the locality, the unadulterated portion of which has been reduced to the pond, minimally lined by some trees. It’s doubtful that the current town or zoning boards base development decisions on unbiased calculations of the greatest good for the largest number of people. Nor do the Democrats clamoring for office likely have any genuine interest, aside from the opportunity provided by the circumstance, to challenge the forces that have dominated the town for the last decades.
Hence, accommodating the old and new Amherst might be accomplished with the following proposal. Continue construction on every vacant parcel remaining. Install more signals that create traffic congestion in the middle of the night. Retire the name Amherst; it can remain a memory of the place for those who once lived there. Rename the town North Cheektowaga. This reconciliation should qualify for what is locally termed a win-win.
T. Pat Leary