WNYEA

Published on July 13th, 2015 | by GrowWNYAdmin

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Scajaquada Corridor Coalition to hold public meeting on 7/15

July 9, 2015

For More Information Contact

Justin Booth

Tel: (716) 220-1454

Email: Justin@gobikebuffalo.org

The Scajaquada Corridor Coalition (SCC), a group of organizations with an interest in improving the Scajaquada area, hails reports that signalized pedestrian crossings will be installed in the short term on the former Scajaquada Expressway. Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, remarked that the pedestrian crossings of the roadway will achieve a long dream of allowing park users to go from the Meadow to Hoyt Lake on foot. “Previously you couldn’t get across the high speed expressway – it served as a barrier to park users. This is a most welcome short term fix for that.”

The SCC will hold a public meeting on July 15, 2015 at 6:30 p.m. at the The Buffalo History Museum at 25 Nottingham Court (in Delaware Park). The purpose of the meeting will be to organize community interest in the long-term right-sizing or removal of the former expressway out of the Delaware Park area.

There has been a ground-swell of community support for long-term right-sizing or removal of the former expressway. The July 15 meeting will include a review of the expressway–how it was thrust into and effect on the park, its current status and short term fixes, and the long-term possibilities of removal or redesign in an Olmsted manner. After opening presentations by Brian Dold, Landscape Architect for the Conservancy, the public meeting will be given over to organized activities. The SCC will be organizing committees to communicate with government officials, to organize events, to provide publicity, and to review designs. The SCC invites all in the community who are interested in this project to attend.

“The speed-limit reduction has benefitted the Parkside community, “ said Michael DeLuca, Chair of the Traffic Committee of the Parkside Community Association. “We had been warned that any slowdown of the expressway would result in ‘carmaggedon’. That has not happened; in fact, just the reverse as traffic has calmed down on our neighborhood streets.”

Mr. DeLuca added: “The Parkside Community Association has pursued right sizing the Scajaquada Expressway since early 2000s. We have worked together with our community stakeholders and local leaders to provide a vision that can be implemented by the NYSDOT in redesigning this roadway to implement much needed safety improvements. Throughout this effort, our community has been clear that parkway condition at a low speed is needed. This lowered speed limit, coupled with additional traffic calming techniques along the entire length of the expressway, is essential to reconnecting the many communities that have been divided and damaged by this roadway.”

Kerri Machemer of “Parents for a Safe Delaware Park” stated, “There is no going back. We have been told that the expressway will remain at 30 mph. That is what the community wants. What we don’t want is a return to speeding traffic through the park and the dangers that brings with it.

The Conservancy’s Executive Director, Stephanie Crockatt, noted that the Conservancy has been attempting for years to bring about change in how the expressway runs through Delaware Park. “It was 60 years ago that transportation planners described parts of Delaware Park as ‘vacant land,’ then pushed to have an expressway put through. At the time, there was no advocate for the parks. We lost something important to the community when the expressway went in and divided Delaware Park in two.”

The SCC is committed to remedying the situation. “Putting in the expressway resulted not just in dividing the park, but in other changes to the face of the park and its surroundings like filling in the quarry near Parkside Lodge. We want to see those problems addressed as well in a comprehensive manner.”

The SCC is also concerned about the quality of the waterway running through the corridor. “The SCC will be addressing how to improve the conditions of the waterway with government officials. It is all a part of bringing back community use of this corridor,” said Ms. Crockatt.

For further information, you may contact Justin Booth at (716) 220-1454 or by email at Justin@gobikebuffalo.org.

 

More About the Scajaquada Corridor Coalition

The Scajaquada Corridor Coalition is an advocacy group focusing its efforts on the enhancement, restoration and improvement of the Scajaquada area. Members of the SCC include: WNY Environmental Alliance, Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Parkside Community Association, GObike Buffalo and Parents for a Safe Delaware Park. The members are committed to right-sizing or removing the expressway.

The goal of this Coalition includes:

  • to promote, to preserve, and to restore multi-modal transportation within Delaware Park, to enhance the Park by reuniting the Meadow with Hoyt Lake; and to enhance the adjacent Parkways to provide quality, Olmsted park experiences for current and future generations; and
  • to create a marketing and communications plan to educate the community on the benefits of right-sizing options and complete removal of the Scajaquada Expressway from Parkside to Grant Street, including traffic calming at the junction of the former expressway and Main Street; and restoration of Humboldt Parkway from Main Street to Agassiz Place; and
  • to advocate for environmental responsibility as it relates to development and changes within the Scajaquada Corridor, including restoration and right-sizing of Scajaquada Creek, and the restoration of the East Bay of Hoyt Lake; and
  • to develop an in-depth traffic study and impact analysis, to develop possible solutions to improve safety, to reduce speeds, to provide greater pedestrian access and to improve park access within the Parkside Community area, and to maintain access to local institutions within the “Olmsted Crescent.”


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