ErieCPR Spokesperson Michael Keys and President Adam Trott announced they will hold a brief press event at 8:30am on Wednesday, May 2 in front of City Hall at 626 State Street to discuss the April 30 filing of a legal complaint for a demolition delay and Public Hearing about the McBride Viaduct.
After four and a half years of effort, ErieCPR exhausted non-legal remedies to prevent the irreparable harm of removing the McBride Viaduct – a key pedestrian and bike artery connecting impoverished minority neighborhoods on Erie’s Eastside. The decision to tear down the bridge was made unofficially more than a decade ago, and officially in 2013, prior to the regional and city comprehensive plans: Destination Erie, Emerge 2040 and Erie Refocused. In 2017, the lead consultant of Erie Refocused, recommended a “pause” in the demolition and the kind of discussion, “that should have occurred years ago.” Since 2015, six urban planning professionals have visited Erie and each encouraged the retention of the Viaduct as a non-vehicular bridge:
Philip Langdon, Author of Within Walking Distance – April 2018
Charles McKinney, New York City parks planner and “Practical Visionary” - Jan. 2018
Terry Schwarz, Architect and Director, Cleveland Urban Design – April 2017
Toni Griffin, Architect, Harvard Professor, Editor of Just City – April 2016
Dr. Mindy Thompson Fullilove, Author, Urban Alchemy – August 2015
John Norquist, former Mayor of Milwaukee – April 2015
In response to the USA Today and Wall Street Journal stories identifying Erie as the “worst place” in the nation for Black Americans, a long-time Erie social worker commented, “if we tear down the Viaduct, we will prove they are right.” ErieCPR Spokesperson Michael Keys, commented that the people most dependent on the Viaduct are “living in poverty” and cannot “fight City Hall” on their own. Cynthia Muhammad (publisher of the Erie Metropolitan Black Yellow Pages) says that demolition will create a “containment area . . . where children will be injured.” Rev. Charles Mock of Erie’s African-American Concerned Clergy and Erie’s NAACP President, Gary Horton believe saving the Viaduct is crucial to maintaining safety, creating jobs and fostering hope on Erie’s Eastside. A growing list of residents, leaders and organizations are encouraging the new City Administration to delay demolition and call for a transparent, on-the-record Public Hearing.
Donations to help save the Viaduct are welcomed. Checks should be written to “Winds of Change” with “ErieCPR” written into the subject line. Mail checks to: ErieCPR c/o AJT Architect, 1001 State Street, Suite 205, Erie, PA 16501 # # #