Erie Connect Plus Respect regroups after recent McBride Viaduct revival attempts fall
(ERIE, N.Y. - WICU/WSEE/CW) –"It's sad" said Erie native Tecumseh Brown-Eagle.
As the spot where the former McBride Viaduct sat near the corner of East Avenue and East 12th Street is now empty, some East Erie neighbors and community members like Brown-Eagle still can't believe the situation got to this point.
"It’s causing Erie to separate." Brown-Eagle said
It’s why the now downtown Erie resident joined up with Erie Connect Plus Respect to try and save the bridge in the first place.
And on Tuesday night, neighbors and Erie CPR members, including Brown-Eagle, met at the Jefferson Educational Society for a lecture titled “Lessons from the Viaduct.”
During the meeting, Erie CPR President Adam Trott told Erie News Now they still believe city officials failed to properly engage with the public during the demolition process.
Erie Mayor Joe Schember and his administration had maintained their support for demolishing the 81-year-old viaduct. CPR members had routinely spoken at Erie City Council meetings to try and stop the viaduct’s removal.
"They just figured that was good enough for the east side." Trott said
While Trott says Erie CPR cannot bring back the viaduct, they still have much more to fight for.
“We don't want to lose the footprint of the viaduct." said Trott
Which means they will continue to push for something to be built where it stood.
They'll also work to improve pedestrian crossings at the nearby Bayfront Connector, as Brown-Eagle says, it’s still a dangerous area.
"Because the alternative is, someone is gonna get killed." said Brown-Eagle
And it's why they ultimately want to change the way they say their voices are being heard by the city.
"There’s so many people trying to work to better their lives on the east side, and they keep getting whacked by city hall." said Trott
And they'll continue to connect what they say is a divide in the city, one step at a time.
"We don't give up the ship." Brown-Eagle said
Trott tells us while CPR’s recent motion failed in the courts, they still may be in the works to try and appeal it.