It’s one of the most picturesque places to walk or ride a bike in all of Western New York, but you may want to bring your GPS with you. Niwanda Park in the City of Tonawanda sits along a Greenway trail that runs the length of the Niagara River. The trail, which is a popular site for bikers, hikers, runners and walkers, is lined with beautiful signs and maps. The maps include markers that indicate where you are. Well… sort of.
“If I had to rely on a map like this to call in artillery, I would be in big trouble,” joked Mayor Ron Pilozzi, who, as a former Army observer and a one-time blueprint guru at GM, knows all about precision.
Some of the markers in the map are not perfectly placed, making it seem as though visitors to the trail in the City of Tonawanda are a half mile south in the Town of Tonawanda.
But Pilozzi loves the maps and the trail, and says the Greenway Commission, which installed them, wasn’t trying to be precise. “None of this is to scale,” he said. “This was intended to give you a general feel for where you are.”
The regulars seem to get a kick out of it. “I know where I am,” said Ed Rzadkiewicz. “This is the City of Tonawanda (laughing).”
PELOZZI: Again, if you’re looking for the exact point of where you are, you better have your GPS with you, and I know you do.
REPORTER: (Pulls out GPS) Look at this…
REPORTER: Whaddaya think? Are we close?
PELOZZI: Well, we’re in the ball park, and that’s what we’re trying to do with this. . . All kidding aside, I’m happy with the sign myself, as the mayor of the city, knowing how much this park is used, it’s going to get a lot of visibility.
“It’s a beautiful place to walk,” Rzadkiewicz added.