ERIE, PA—Readily acknowledging how outlandish the idea might seem at first, Erie, PA mayor Joe Sinnott held a press conference Tuesday to announce his new and “admittedly crazy” initiative to develop the city’s waterfront and green spaces. “I recognize this probably sounds insane, but I’ve got this strange feeling there might be some sort of upside to converting our unused and blighted lakefront into a family- and business-friendly hub of the community,” Sinnott told reporters, explaining how the counterintuitive and “probably a little nuts” proposal would replace the decaying and unsightly old manufacturing buildings along Lake Erie with a vibrant retail-entertainment district. “But wait, it gets crazier: What if we also took some of the nearby vacant lots and—hold on to your hats, guys—turned them into public parks? With dog runs? Sounds bonkers, right? But I think it just might work.” Though the proposal has received cautious support, city council president Melvin Witherspoon told reporters that the mayor’s idea to open the refurbished waterfront with a weekend-long street festival was “the unhinged ranting of a madman.”