From the desk of Casey Wells, Erie Events Executive Director:
Now that the litigation for the Bayfront Place walkway has concluded, I’d like to make a few comments about the pathway. The Bayfront Place design incorporated the same elements that were built around the Convention Center in 2007 and included a walkway, fishing areas and rocks embedded for safety. This design was fully supported by the community years ago, but strangely became unacceptable in 2015. Not only was it disappointed that the interpretation of the rules changed in this eight year period, but it was also very costly. After spending $25,000 in legal fees defending this frivolous lawsuit, the court confirmed the City of Erie’s ruling that the design is lawful and appropriate.
Erie Events designed the walkway to meet the needs of all residents of Erie County, not just fishermen. The walkway design incorporated multiple paths and distinct areas to allow for a variety of uses. We created a meandering 12 foot wide blacktop pathway for joggers, bicyclists and walkers, plus a concrete walkway with benches and areas for fishing. These two paths are divided by an aesthetically pleasing landscape design that separates the more actives users of the pathway from those who want to enjoy a more serene experience. Large stones were embedded in various areas at the water’s edge as a safety barrier to eliminate the need of a sight restricting fence. This design feature allows an unobstructed view of Erie’s magnificent Bayfront so all visitors can watch the sun set unimpeded over Presque Isle Bay.
In the last 10 years, Erie Events has provided more than 3,600 feet of prime waterfront access that was previously unavailable to the public. Fishing, along with many other activities, is permitted along the entire pathway and we ask that everyone exercise caution near the water’s edge. Safety features such as life rings and ladders are provided along the entire walkway to help anyone who may need assistance.
Erie Events is pleased this lawsuit is behind us so we can again fully focus on creating an enjoyable Bayfront environment not just to residents of our own community, but also to meeting and convention visitors, travelers and vacationers.
I encourage you to use the walkways and enjoy our beautiful waterfront.