While searching for an image of the Metro Rail, I came across a post on Forgotten Buffalo
that paints a picture of the futuristic rapid transit system that was originally dreamed up for Buffalo. It was a revolutionary vision that some thought would help to reverse the trends of a declining city. With permission from Forgotten Buffalo, here is the post in its entirety:
From the 1973 Metro report: The third element of the Transit Development Program would be the backbone of the Niagara Frontier's 1995 transit system --- a 46 mile rail rapid transit network known as the Metro. Phase 1, costing $241,339,000, encompasses the design and construction of the Blue Line from Cathedral Park to North Campus 1 - 10.7 miles. Of this cost, $2,049,000 is for the relocation of 99 families, 78 businesses and 2 others from the 130 structures (which must be purchased for the right-of-way) to suitable equivalent facilities. The transit system will be designed to enable use by the aged and the handicapped.
All stations except North Campus 1 will be tapped by bus routes, and 4,750 commuter parking spaces will be disturbed among Sweet Home, Maple, Sheridan, LaSalle and Meyer Hospital stations. Consultants recommended the line to be opened from North Campus 1 to South Campus in four years and to Cathedral Park in six years after start of design. Six-car trains will run every 2 minutes during peak hours.
Below is an additional image from a post that Steel published back in 2007 with his lead-in as follows:
Before the Main Street pedestrian mall (that we all know and love) was constructed, there was a much, much more grand plan for the street. Concepts dating back to the early seventies called for covering 4 blocks of Main and several side streets with a glass roof supported by a futuristic space frame. The new enclosed heated and cooled street was going to be the focal point of WNY and would save downtown, or so they thought. A subway would have run directly under Main and would be open to the newly covered mall-street at certain locations creating a dynamic multi level space. Subway lines to Kenmore, Hamburg, and the airport would also have converged on Main Street.
Writing available on the proposal indicates that officials were seriously working toward making a covered Main Street real. The detailed drawings and models show a highly thought out design. Building and business owners had signed off on the plan and even accommodations for fighting fires were worked out. I wonder if they considered the heating bill? Eventually the reality of paying for this mega-scheme hit home and officials scaled the idea back to the pedestrian mall with surface rail that exists now (which was even more scaled back as construction progressed).