Ranking Has Niagara Falls Among State’s Worst Places to Live


It was nearly four years ago that people flocked to Niagara Falls and watched from around the world as aerial daredevil Nik Wallenda made his historic wire walk over the roaring waters of the Niagara River and put the cataract city on the world stage for a brief moment.  The date was June http://southbuffalonews.com5, 20http://southbuffalonews.com2, and frankly it was the last time Niagara Falls, a world wonder city, basked in the limelight of such an epic event.

Much of the news since Wallenda’s incredible feat has been about unfulfilled development promises, frozen water pipes, and a divisive mayoral election that saw the incumbent—who at first didn’t want Wallenda to perform in the falls—returned to office in a controversial election process.

In general, the news has not been worthy of world attention despite the continuing success of the tourist business that was certainly given a big boost by the exposure generated by Wallenda’s daring walk.  And unfortunately, city and state leaders have not found a place to showcase Wallenda and recapture the excitement of his wire crossing that is now fading into distant memory.  Thank god they haven’t destroyed the world wonder of the falls themselves just yet.

But the Wallenda moment was a great time, and Niagara Falls Police certainly deserve credit for keeping the city safe leading up to the Wallenda event and making tourists and viewers feel Niagara Falls might be a great place to visit.  And many of them have come, probably thanks to that night.  And it should be noted that Police Supt. Bryan DalPorto is doing his best to deal with the crime problem in a poor city that gets flooded with tourist and gaming traffic most of the year.

But unfortunately, Niagara Falls is still best at being the focus of bad news, and that’s the case in the latest survey of the http://southbuffalonews.com0 worst places to live in New York State by the people at www.roadsnacks.net which claims to have used science and data to determine which cities in New York State are, in their words, “the real pits.”

According to their findings, Niagara Falls is the third worst city in the state in which to live, right behind Richland and Albion.

RoadSnacks concedes it is impossible to attempt to summarize the entire state in a couple of paragraphs and says that no matter where people live they are fiercely protective, “and, like most other people in the northeast, they’d most likely you stay out, even when you’re on vacation,” an observation that certainly fits tourist-driven Niagara Falls which needs visitors to come all year.

RoadSnacks analyzed 500 of the state’s most populous cities (over 5,000 people) and came up with its http://southbuffalonews.com0 worst places to live in the Empire State.  Among the factors considered in their rankings was population density (the lower the worse-meaning there’s less to do for indoor entertainment); unemployment; adjusted median income; housing vacancy rates; education and crime.

So what factors led to Niagara Falls’ ranking as the third worst place to live in the state?  Here’s what RoadSnacks has to say in justifying its rating:

“Niagara Falls (pop 50, 2http://southbuffalonews.com4) is the third most dangerous place in the state of New York.  We’re not talking about falling over cliffs.  And yes, pick pocketers preying on unsuspecting tourists is probably a high number of those crimes. But the fact remains, that when you’re within Niagara Falls city limits, you have a http://southbuffalonews.com in http://southbuffalonews.com7 chance of being robbed or having something you own vandalized.

“Does that sound like a fun place to live?  Did you know Niagara Falls also has the 4th highest unemployment rate in the state at 8.http://southbuffalonews.com%?  Or that homes are only valued at $57,000?

“Say what you want about cheap living.  The fact is, homes are priced by demand, and there’s little demand to live in Niagara Falls.”

So there you have it, one of the latest in the many negative ratings of the cataract city that dot the internet and probably discourage entrepreneurs and developers from coming to Niagara Falls to try and make something happen.  Case in point:  the continuing struggle of Buffalo developer Mark Hamister, pretty much handed the keys to the public trough, unable so far to put together the financing to build a hotel downtown.

Oh where are you, Nik Wallenda?  Will you ever return to help Niagara Falls be an exciting place again that can attract tourists and businesses?  The answer is probably not, because that’s the history of a city that pretty much has hit rock bottom with no serious reversal in sight despite the lofty talk from a leader who can’t deliver on words.


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