Buffalo, N.Y. (WBEN) -- Canalside and HarborCenter team up as Buffalo's crown jewel. Local officials wants to make sure more people find their way there.
State Sen. Tim Kennedy says adding highway signage to direct motorists to the inner and outer harbor is a logical step.
"These are signs alerting residents and tourists alike that our local landmarks are right before us and that they know where to exit and how best to reach them," he said at the Liberty Hound restaurant Thursday afternoon.
Kennedy wants to see big signs indicating the location of Canalside and Harborcenter along Rt. 5, the 190 and the 33, just like drivers already see for other local landmarks like the Science Museum and Medical Campus. The Canalside/HarborCenter area has undergone such a dramatic transformation in the last several years, Kennedy says bringing attention to the site to new visitors is important.
"Simple signage that will note where these tourist attractions are, where these world-class facilities are and where our new developing, burgeoning, world-class waterfront is, will allow residents that live locally, out-town-tourists, to take advantage of these recreational facilities and this world-class destination."
Patrick Kahler, president and CEO of Visit Buffalo-Niagara, agrees they could make a big difference.
"We welcome more than 8 million visitors to Erie County annually and we get over 1 million visitors to Canalside and HarborCenter presently. .Imagine if we were able to direct those other 7 million visitors to this destination and our downtown area," he said.
Kennedy has written to three state agencies including the DOT to develop and install the signs. Since Canalside has already benefited from state investment, he says he doesn't see securing the signs as a major hurdle.
"We believe the work of New York State is just beginning and we want to make sure that as these millions of dollars continue to pour into Canalside continue to be invested into our inner and outer harbor, that we take time to focus on the details as well and that includes ensuring that the proper signage is in place along our state thoroughfares."
Mike Gilbert, Sabres VP of Administration and General Manager of HarborCenter, says the organization learned during the recent NHL combine and draft, that signage is beneficial in directing visitors. That's why, he said, the Pegulas invested in more detailed signs around the facility. He sees the same being true for the Canalside/HarborCenter area.
"It's important that we have signage like this so people understand these are new buildings, this is a new area down here," he said.