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Bridge authority should find better solutions to traffic

The Peace Bridge Authority has failed miserably at managing border traffic traveling to Canada.

Last week alone, traffic bound for Canada was backed up every day on the Thruway, Niagara Street, Porter Avenue, Busti Avenue and Baird Drive. Bumper-to-bumper traffic encourages frustrated motorists to travel the wrong way on local side streets, posing a danger to pedestrians, bicyclists and residents. Concerns for the safety of our children crossing streets to get to public spaces and businesses have repeatedly been ignored by the PBA and other government agencies.

Keeping inspection booths closed during peak hours must be addressed. Empty political promises don’t solve the problem. Until area residents, businesses and municipalities in both countries demand better, our quality of life and the polluted air we breathe remain hostage to an unregulated open-air factory that processes 1.6 million trucks annually, which in turn release an unknown volume of toxic diesel emissions that poison workers and neighborhoods.

We don’t need a bigger U.S. plaza or another bridge to find “smart, fast ways to move cargo” across the border. With four bridges within 23 miles of each other, the United States and Canada can become a vibrant economic trading unit without creating more irreparable harm by merging the two bridge authorities and processing the commercial traffic at an environmentally safer crossing. After all, it’s passenger cars that carry people to Buffalo Bills games and the Galleria Mall, not trucks.

If government agencies made people a priority instead of political agendas, common sense would prevail and our traffic nightmare would disappear.

Kathleen Mecca

Buffalo