The Board of Directors of the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway (WNYSSB) announced that the Scenic Byway Advisory Board of the New York State Department of Transportation on May 1, 2015 recommended approval of the WNYSSB’s application for expansion into Cattaraugus County.
Finalization of the application will require the consent of the New York State Legislature and approval by the Governor. New York State Senator Catharine Young will lead the effort for passage of the necessary legislation.
“The expansion of the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway into Cattaraugus County is a very exciting development for our communities. This will help showcase the wonderful history, culture, recreational opportunities, and natural beauty of our area. I thank the DOT Scenic Byway Advisory Board for approving this expansion and I especially thank Robert Lennartz and everyone involved with the WNYSSB for their dedicated work in successfully securing this expansion of the scenic byway. It was a long process, but they remained dedicated to seeing it through and never gave up on this project. Now their work is paying off and the benefits in increased tourism and economic development will be wonderful for the towns and villages along the expanded route and for the entire region,” said Senator Young.
Presently, the Byway has a 71 mile designated route with its southern terminus along Route 39 in Springville. The expansion would include two sections totaling 37 miles. The first section is from the intersection of Routes 219 and 39, traveling south down Route 219 to the Village of Ellicottville, continuing on to the southern border of Town of Ellicottville. The second section is from the intersection of Routes 39 and 240, in Springville, south on Route 240 to Route 242, and ending at the intersection of Routes 219 and 242 in Ellicottville.
A designated scenic byway is intended to “promote economic development and community pride through the thoughtful stewardship of the natural, scenic, cultural, historic and recreational resources of the byway region.”
According to Bob Lennartz, President of WNYSSB, “This is a major step for our organization and the economic benefits of uniting Southern Erie County with the natural wonders and tourist attractions of Cattaraugus County will be significant.”
Lennartz also added that, “Stepping back and looking at what has transpired since the idea to go down this road in 2002, I’m proud to say we have found a way to unite: Erie and Cattaraugus County, the towns of Orchard Park, Aurora, Boston, Colden, Concord, Ashford and Ellicottville, and the Villages of Orchard Park, East Aurora, Springville and Ellicottville.”
For more information, contact Bob Lennartz at RLennartz@wnyssb.org or (716) 662-4667.