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New Stadium Prospectus: Central Terminal & East Side: Progress, Stagnation and Potential

Author: Lance Sabo | Part 6 of 6

The Central Terminal:

I have made a compelling argument on why the central terminal (“CT”) would be an advantageous place to locate a stadium; an area that is centrally located in the city, accessible by various modes of transportation and an area that is a prime candidate for redevelopment.

Beyond those qualities, I must admit to being a bit biased as I pitch the CT as a possible location for a new stadium/convention center complex. I am fan of the building and of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation’s efforts to restore the building. It is a grand building that once served as a prominent gateway for travelers to our city. It’s a link to a bygone era when Buffalo ranked among the top cities in the country.

For me, what distinguishes the CT from the many other architectural treasures in our region is that it was always intended for public use (designed to handle 3200 passengers per hour), while buildings such as the Guaranty Building, the Darwin Martin House, Graycliff, the Mansions on Delaware Avenue and Lincoln Parkway were built for private businesses and residences.

My travels to New York City and Philadelphia have taken me through both Grand Central Station and the 30th Street Station. Seeing the bustling activity of people from all walks of life in these stations, I couldn’t help but imagine what the CT was like in its heyday. Those thoughts quickly turned to the CT’s possible potential. Like most, I am hopeful that the CT buildings can someday be repurposed and that the redevelopment would also include a station that provides both light rail and Amtrak passenger service.

Over the years, I have attended several events and taken multiple tours of the CT. I have mixed feelings from these visits; on one hand I’m thankful for the efforts of the Central Terminal Restoration Corporation (“CTRC”), but on the other hand, I’m concerned. The volunteers of the CTRC deserve a lot of credit for what they’ve accomplished; likely, without their stewardship, the terminal and any hope for redevelopment would have been lost. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, I can’t help to liken them to the proverbial “Dutch boy with his finger in the dike,” in that funding for the restoration seems to be coming in in bits and pieces, especially when looking at the big picture for the entire complex.

When the initial conversation of a new stadium started and various sites were mentioned, I immediately thought of the many benefits that could result from the pairing of a new stadium/convention center and CT. The most important being, the possibility of additional sources of funding for the restoration and redevelopment efforts that are currently underway.

Over the years there have been a variety of proposals made for the CT by various individuals and groups, some being realistic and others not. I must admit that my understanding of the current plans for the CT got lost in that chatter, which is likely the case for many others in our community. To get clarification on the current status and future plans for the CT, I contacted Marilyn Rodgers, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the CTRC.

My initial attempts to contact her led to a series of phone messages back and forth. When we finally did have a conversation, she was apologetic for the delay, and she informed me that I had contacted her at a very busy time. During that week there had been three interviews for features by the Buffalo News, WBFO and NPR News – Washington D.C. and that there was a video shoot in progress as well. All that added to the normal weekly happenings at the terminal, she explained “it has been an exciting, but hectic week.”

While researching for this series, I stumbled across a very well-produced brochure titled “Buffalo Central Terminal – Master Plan 2011;” which highlights both the history of the terminal and the group’s long term redevelopment plans. The plan includes commercial office and light industrial incubator space; a restaurant; a museum; transportation center and residential apartments to be located in the 15 story tower. I inquired; if that plan was still in the works and if so how is it progressing? She explained: “The Master Plan that you are referring to is more of an executive summary, which allowed us to refine the reuse plan with more definition. It is still our long term goal, but we have modified it somewhat since then and it now includes a Center for Restoration Arts and Sciences; which is being modeled after another successful program of its type. At this time we are primarily focused on the School and Museum aspects of the plan. Funding for both projects is coming together and we are projecting 2017 as a tentative target.”

I explained to her the nature of my series and asked what her thoughts were of my proposal of locating a new stadium and convention center on the CT site. I could immediately sense that she has listened to many grand plans from outsiders that lack the funding to back it up. Her reply was very diplomatic, but short: “It sounds interesting, but we have a plan and until something more creditable/viable comes along that would cause us to alter our plan, we will move forward in our current direction.”

New-render-Buffalo-NY-stadium

If the CTRC’s redevelopment efforts meet their projections in 2017 and they continue to move forward with other aspects of their plans, the CT would begin to reestablish its vitality at about the same time that the ground breaking for a new stadium/convention center would likely be taking place. Given the various components outlined in the CTRC’s master plan, it becomes quite obvious that having a stadium and convention center co-located on the CT site would result in a very complementary relationship for each of the venues. If done properly with CT as the center piece, our region would truly have something iconic and would be unlike anything else in the country.

The East Side:

In the various articles of this series I focused on stadium financing, possible design features and the possible benefits of having the new stadium and convention center co-located on the Central Terminal site (see latter here). Until now, I haven’t really mentioned the East Side neighborhood that the CT is located in. I did this intentionally because I thought it was important that the community have time to digest and discuss the various other factors of the proposal before a serious discussion could be had on the current status of the East Side.

I find it interesting that most Buffalonians, both residing and former, are very proud of the city and the current progress that is underway. And, that we are increasingly optimistic about our city’s future. Unfortunately, there are still many in our community whose pessimism appears to be based on opinions strongly rooted from our cities past; a time when government officials and union corruption was rampant and one would avoid neighborhoods because of racial and social-economic biases.

Times are changing: our local, state and federal government officials and trade unions have become key contributors to the region’s advancement; and people are choosing to live in various areas of city in order to embrace ethnic diversity instead of avoiding it.

There is a new generation of people, singles/couples/families/empty nesters/retirees that are moving into the city. Some have embraced the urban loft life style, while others view living in tight-knit residential neighborhoods to be more appealing. As prices in well-established, high demand areas continue to increase, many have begun to look for more affordable options on the fringe of desirable neighborhoods. As result the city is being revitalized block by block.

For some it is pretty hard to imagine how a person could possibly see the potential, be willing to reside in and put forth the effort to improve areas of the city that many had deemed undesirable a longtime ago. Truly, it’s all a matter of perspective. Much like the term “affordable” in real estate which has both positive and negative connotations based on the context in which it used, it all depends on whether the subject of the discussion has financial means or not.

I must admit that as a lifelong resident of the City of Buffalo proper, I once held a negative view of the East Side. My opinions were largely based on news reports and the assumption that only bad things happen there. Sure, I have attended events at the CT, gone to the Broadway Market and the main post office, purchased building supplies and tires from businesses in that area at some point, but I hadn’t really spent any time in the actual residential part of the neighborhood. So I must concede that my opinion was largely based on ignorance, an underlining fear of the unknown and what appeared to be a lack of concentrated goods and services.

US Post Office
US Post Office

As I was contemplating writing these articles, I decided to explore the residential area that was adjacent to CT along Memorial Drive to get a better understanding of what was there. My adventure was a self-guided walking tour that lasted about two hours, in which I was armed with only a clipboard and pen. As I walked around I was surprised to see that the housing stock in area had been almost completely decimated. Many blocks only contained only a handful of houses that appeared to have been randomly sprinkled among the vacant lots. Like any other modern urban areas the conditions these houses varied from well maintained, to “needs some love”, to beyond repair. Many were boarded up waiting for someone to decide their fate.

From a rejuvenation stand point, the possibilities are endless in regards to the types of residential buildings that could infill the vacant lots in the area. The East Side is one of the only residential areas in the city that could be almost completely redefined. For example: it could become the greenest neighborhood, or it could feature micro-housing, or maybe it could become Condo-Ville. The area is full of potential and ripe with opportunity.

During my tour, I made an effort to interact with the neighbors that I encountered. With most I merely exchanged simple greetings and smiles. I was fortunate to have conversations others. As I walked around the neighborhood I looked for the city’s crime surveillance cameras; I was unable to locate one. I also noticed there wasn’t much of a police presence, as I didn’t see a single police car the entire time I was there. I asked the people that I had talked to about the reported crime in the area; they said that most of it really didn’t happen in their section of the neighborhood and “it really is pretty quiet.” During my tour I saw nothing that would discredit their claims: I never felt threatened in any way, nor did anyone proposition me with drugs or sex, and I also returned to my vehicle with keys, cell phone and wallet intact. Ironically, I would have my wallet pickpocketed several weeks later, while on Hertel during the Italian festival.

I had three separate in-depth conversations with local residents. When I posed the question: “As residents, what are your main concerns that you feel the city needs to address?” their initial responses pertained to enforcement of housing code violations, poor street maintenance and snow removal. It wasn’t until I specifically asked them about crime in the area that they addressed it.

I find it interesting that the residents cited poor City services as their main concerns that need to be addressed. Since these concerns are echoed by residents of every other neighborhood within the city, maybe the East Side is not as vastly different from other areas of Buffalo as some might think?

Placing a stadium and convention center at the CT site will not cause the East Side to automatically be transformed, but it would bring attention to an area that has long been neglected. In order for changes to take place there would have to be specific plans to guide this transition. It is likely that any initiative to improve this area would have come from local officials and would have to include State or Federal funding, but a stadium/convention center might be exactly what is needed to get the ball rolling.

Also see Chris Jacobs’ proposal to relocate government and non-profits to the East Side – an idea that would add to the momentum.

Future-Broadway-Market-Buffalo-NY-1

To learn more about this series, see New Stadium Prospectus – Accessibility is the Key | Part 5 of 6

Lance Sabo is currently a master’s student at Buffalo State College and will complete his master’s degree in economics and finance in the fall of 2014. Serves in the Air Force Reserves at the Niagara Falls Airbase and has been a Federal Civil Servant for 20 years. Contact Lance Sabo | twitter Lance_Sabo

 

Written by Buffalo Rising

Buffalo Rising

Sometimes the authors at Buffalo Rising work on collaborative efforts in order to cover various events and stories. These posts can not be attributed to one single author, as it is a combined effort. Often times a formation of a post gets started by one writer and passed along to one or more writers before completion. At times there are author attributions at the end of one of these posts. Other times, “Buffalo Rising” is simply offered up as the creator of the article. In either case, the writing is original to Buffalo Rising.

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  • John Dickens

    Honestly a well thought out idea, but this will never happen. Sorry bud.

  • jvgriffis

    It’s kind of presumptuous to call your own argument compelling, don’t you think? You obviously spent a bunch of time on it, but I think Ms Rodgers’ answer pretty much sums it up: “until something more creditable/viable comes along”…
    You can call it compelling, I call it a pie-in-the-sky dream without any actual support, unless you have a spare billion laying around that we don’t know about. Whatever you want to do in your spare time, I guess…

  • BuffaloBoi

    This could work. For years the South Bronx was considered a ‘war-zone’ yet it didn’t stop anyone from going to Yankee Stadium and that neighborhood is much better today…..But, why not put the new stadium near the Central Terminal? The space is there, The land is cheap and it’s a good reason to jump start any kind of hope in that side of town.

  • jbm23

    jvgriffis Are you dumb? He is writing this article for a potential stadium site by the new owner of the Bills, whoever that may be. The “spare billion” will come from the new owner as well as the county and state, he is not stating he will be building this or trying to kick start funding on his own.
    Nice criticism on something you are clearly uninformed on, or you just can’t put two and two together.

  • fewsense

    well written, however it will never happen. it would be awesome to reboot one of the sites that really shows our peaked past time but I feel there is to much risk involved to whatever party that ends up with the bills. if you would have taken that walk from 1am until 3am I think you would have found a much different outcome. there were 3 shootings less than a half mile from CT just from last November. actually driving home on the eve of thanksgiving from a sabres game there was a fatal shooting at the foot of paderewski dr. and that’s what 500 yards from the CT maybe? not to mention the double homicide that happened a few blocks east within the last year. im not looking to put the city down by all means something has to be done with the east side I just don’t think its the right time. I vote for perry street because it is in proximity to the casino, Chippewa etc. would love to be proved wrong though.

  • MichaelJarosz

    In 1961, JFK thought to himself, “I think we should put a man on the moon”. I can imagine the backroom laughter that aspiration generated. Fortunately, he didn’t have any of Buffalo’s nattering nabobs of negativism that got this city where it is today to block him..

  • Buffaboy

    unless it’s being considered by a potential owner. “Never” is a heavy word.

  • jvgriffis

    jbm23 Not sure those in glass houses should be throwing stones.
    This is some single guy spitballing his own great plan. His idea isn’t compelling, creditable, or viable until/unless he has a spare billion in order to have the political influence to be heard. It has nothing to do with him owning the team; noone’s going to listen because this guy is a nobody, politically. Money would change that.
    Unless he has access to that kind of nosh, this isn’t anything other than something fun to read, like Matt Ricciawhatever’s pipe dream posts.
    Sorry you’re offended by that little nugget of reality.

  • panther01

    Hey chuckle head, how many NFL games take place @ 1 to 3 am? A lot of gun fire and crime happens at that time all over the city.

  • MichaelJarosz

    fewsense 
    Growing up in Buffalo, there were neighborhoods you just did not drive (let alone walk) through. Let’s see? Chippewa, Larkin, Hamlin Park. But the dangerous neighborhood you describe above was not only safe, but members of my family lived there and we visited often. As the adults sat around klatching over coffee at my aunt’s house off Memorial Drive, we kids left to explore the CT. We even met uncle Stanley arriving on the train from Chicago one Saturday afternoon. Believe me, my parents would not have allowed us to roam the CT if they considered the area unsafe.
    What you need to understand is that neighborhoods change. They need a catalyst to do it. The loss of a landmark can destroy an area, but the creation of one can renew it. Look at Larkinville. My parents wouldn’t even drive through there. Wizzing by on the Thruway they would point at that “dangerous” area.
    If Buffalo keeps the Bills, there will have to be a new stadium. That WILL happen. It is not a dream. The only question will be where to put it. I think this is actually a pretty good proposal.
    fewsense: go play your Bon Jovi vinyls……..

  • EB_Blue

    What would happen? The rest of the houses in Broadway/Fillmore would be demolished for parking.

  • fewsense

    panther01 clearly you took that the wrong way. im just saying are we trying to paint the picture that code violations and lack of city services which the neighbors stated is the biggest issue at hand? not shootings that happen daily in a 2 mile radius or less of the CT? some DURING the day? didn’t you read about that little 3 year old boy that got shot at like 2 in the afternoon a hop and skip from here? “Hey chuckle head, how many NFL games take place @ 1 to 3 am?” so you are saying 8 times a year we will get people in this part of the city at 10 am out by 5pm that sounds like it will bring the neighborhood back by itself lol. I thought we were also discussing a convention center being part of this location. last time I checked convention centers run events at night time all times of the year and you mean to tell me people are going to feel safe leaving to walk to there cars?
    MichaelJarosz once again you are saying you went exploring during the DAY, just as the author stated. and a catalyst for the neighborhood?? so 8 games a season will pump revenue into the gas station across from memorial? like in all honesty do you really believe people will uproot their lives/families to move near a football stadium that will most likely not be used 44 weekends out of a year? don’t get me wrong seriously I love the city, I myself live on the edge of the east side but I really believe it belongs another place.

  • gregduh

    I like this plan a lot, and while I support keeping the stadium where it is I wouldn’t be against this alternative. The only problem I have is the train traffic that runs underneath the stadium. Trains on those tracks carry oil tankers. After what happened in Quebec last year we’re all aware of how dangerous those trains can be. If an accident occurred like that near the stadium during an event, it could hurt a lot of people. You’d need to figure out a way to stop those trains when the stadium is being used.

  • panther01

    @gregduh Industrial train cars traveling under stadium at this day and age with new oil car legislation that is being past and fire/explosion proof tunnel engineering is a reality. Oil and chem cars pass under NYC daily by the thousands.

  • greenca

    gregduh
    CSX would never agree to stop rail service for hours during a game.  That would greatly disrupt traffic up and down the system. That, and the doubtfulness of the government allowing a 60,000 seat stadium on an active rail line (terrorism target) as was mentioned in a previous post, are deal-killers for the idea of a stadium at this site.

  • BuffaloBoi

    EB_Blue oh please, what houses? Nothing left already.

  • jbm23

    jvgriffis Besides this article, this site has been talked about for the last two months at least. Why wouldn’t any prospective owner look at it? Ton of space, rail infastructure etc.. Just because this is the first time you heard about it doesn’t mean it isn’t being discussed.
    You are still a moron

  • solonggone

    Buffaboy
    The only people who think a stadium on the East Side works are those who only want to see a stadium as a silver bullet.  
    The team is going to go to Terry.  He’s going to want his stadium near his arena.

  • jvgriffis

    jbm23 Huh. I guess discussion and this guy’s 5 other articles make it relevant? Curious, but okay.
    You seem curiously attached to this guy and his articles, are you his mom?
    Have a swell day!

  • MomofLance

    @jvgriffis. This is Lance’s mom and hate this proposal too. I would prefer a stadium located on the peace bridge, so I could go to bingo, catch a game & hit up the duty free store. Speaking of….wouldn’t be better if the duty free sold gas too? That way I wouldn’t have drive to the reservation for my gas and smokes.

  • jbm23

    No, I just think it is a viable idea and that you are a moron. Please let us know where you would like the stadium, or are you a hipster who doesn’t care if they stay or go?

  • MomofLance

    This stadium business that Lance is writing about doesn’t surprise me. He was always a little odd in his childhood, always obsessed with train and men in tight pants. I don’t know where I went wrong.

  • No_Illusions

    Actually, I think the light rail component will make Polonia an attractive place to live as prices rise along main street.
    Though I think the project should include a park or something that residents will use regularly.

  • PaulJoseph1

    A dollar and a dream?

  • ImissBuffalo

    if this is what it took to redevelop the central terminal I would be all for it. It really could be something spectacular and incredibly unique in the NFL. If they could get rid of that terrible downtown exchange street station, build this, it could almost be another penn station with msg, you could have all of your concerts and events there and so on, all accessible by train. it really is a great idea.
    Up until this I was all gung-ho for the perry st site, but this is the only other location that I think would be perfect.

  • Captain Picard

    Liked for the nattering nabobs of negativism.

  • solonggone

    No_Illusions
    What light rail component?  
    The odds of Buffalo getting funds for ANY light rail project is slim to none.  There simply are too many other cities in the US who would be in line first for Federal Dollars.
    That said, IF somehow Buffalo were to get funds, running a line from DT through the most depressed part of the city to an airport that does not need it makes that idea dead on arrival.  
    Don’t get me wrong… I’m a huge fan of mass transit and see the return on investment.  However, when you look at all of the other options both local and national…Buffalo is very, very, very far down the list.

  • MomofLance

    My case worker and my 4th ex husband have told me that I need to be more suppprtive of my son. Lance its ok…as dungeon master you can place the stadium anywhere that you want to in one of your worlds. Good job honey love mom.

  • No_Illusions

    solonggone No_Illusions Who said anything about the airport?

    Also, on the contrary, it would pass through the highly successful Larkin District as well not to mention several large active sites along Williams Street.

    We are talking about 2.5 miles from Mainstreet using existing abandoned rail lines.

    It would be a relatively cheap upgrade that the city/county could probably finance by itself.

    I would be surprised if such a line would cost more than $100 million.

    The NFTA wants to expand the Metrorail anyways slightly to add a giant parking ramp at its southern Terminous. This plan could accommodate that as well.

    Rail would act as the catalyst for development of those poor areas, just like the Metrorail is already doing along Mainstreet.

  • grlfrndofLance

    MomofLance

  • solonggone

    No_Illusions
    The metrorail did not act as a catalyst for any of the development along Main.  The medical campus is the catalyst.  If anything, some of the sections of the metro hurt main street.  
    I would love to see the economics for the COB to fund a light rail extension.  The reason I say just the COB is I doubt you would get Erie County to fund it.  That’s being both honest and realistic.  
    The majority of Erie County is not in the COB and IMHO I just don’t see the voters allowing the funding to run an extension to even the CT.  As for the comments about the airport..that was not me quoting you but rather speaking to the general BRO mindset.
    Since you mention the stadium and convention center..I think the most logical plan would be to build that on the Perry Projects site.  This would ‘fill in’ between the Larkin District and DT rather than extend.  Filling in is more realistic and productive for where Buffalo is at.  
    It could be a short 1 mile run with 3 stops…for now.  
    Main Street > Stadium / CC > Larkin.  Maybe the COB could fund that on their own.

  • bufforward

    I hadn’t heard about the central terminal area idea until recently either, and while I admit I would have assumed it was total pie in the sky, I’ve heard it discussed by several people well connected with both the CT and the development community, so I guess you never know…

  • boyfrndoflance

    @grlfrndofLance, You had best stay away from my man! Lance, I telling you better not be playing me!

  • foreverbflo

    too much to read

  • panther01

    @few sense by looking at the site plan there appears to a parking ramp and plenty of surface level parking adjacent to propossed convention center that would accommodate any such event. So yes, I think people would be safe walking to thier cars. Stop being such a pussy.

  • panther01

    Taking a closer look at the site plan all the onsite parking would save patrons (out of town visitors included) from being over charged by the various vendors downtown during events. Maybe then it might be more profitable to develop many of lots downtown.

  • RPreskop

    If there is to be a new NFL stadium within the corporate limits of the city of Buffalo, the Central Terminal area is definitely the best location. Since most of the surrounding neighborhood has deteriorated and declined to virtual nothing, land acquisition would not be a problem. Accessibility is very outstanding and this site could easily accommodate 60,000 to 70,000 people for football games, outdoor concerts etc. One thing that I would like to see funded and implemented along with this new stadium proposal is the addition of a light rail transit line along the full length of the belt line rail corridor. This could connect the both new Bills stadium and the restored Central Terminal with downtown and all the budding housing developments and existing businesses along the belt line.

  • OldFirstWard

    BTW, what happened to Matt Ricchiazzi?

  • jake277

    In Article #6, Lance says, “I must admit to being a bit biased as I pitch the Central Terminal as a possible location for a new stadium/convention center complex.”
    When doing a analysis to make these kinds of decisions you don’t START with a bias, then select the facts to bolster that biased opinion.  These articles miss the entire point of building a new stadium in a different location.

    The ONLY reason to spend $800 million+ build a new stadium in a different location is from a need to increase team revenues so the Bills can better compete in the NFL and stay in WNY for decades to come.  That means selling more tickets and suites at significantly higher prices than the team currently can at the Ralph in OP.  If not, you just stay at the Ralph and save $800 million.

    Any new location has to be more attractive to the upper income, corporate buyers that increasing revenues scenario will need.  Spending Sunday’s on Memorial Drive on the East side of Buffalo is not the least bit attractive to that customer base.  The CT may be a great old building we all want to save, but it will never be home to the Bills or a new convention center.

  • Buffalo_Resurrection

    Lance,
    This is one of the most well-thought-out ideas that I have read in a very long time and I compliment you. 
    Whether or not you are biased, this proposal makes a great deal of sense from several perspectives from, obviously, providing a new stadium to adaptively reusing an icon building. 
    I hope your proposal will be floated to the people who could make this a reality.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    Best series of comments ever.

  • BeardedBuffalonian

    …..and that was 60 years ago?

  • panther01

    News headline: Man shot dead on herkermer st during the day. Police stop people against progress from relocaiting body to eastside.

  • JPGarrett

    jake277 You sound like the type of guy who thinks high tides should be reserved for the biggest boats. That’s, fortunately, not how growth works.

  • jim1234664

    Come on bro…

  • rockpile38

    panther01 Hey more BANG for your buck! Sorry, I took a shot in the dark with that statement, a wild stab if you will! But I’ll admit there’s many holes to this idea, and no matter how you slice it, it was DOA from the second it was posted. These silver bullet projects just go straight to peoples heads.

  • rockpile38

    panther01    Actually I’m being sarcastic. I live near here and would concur that Broadway, Fillmore/Smith, William, Jefferson, Clinton and all the land/side streets connecting them are absolutely ripe for major development. A new stadium wouldn’t be the only thing needed, new office space for non-profits that would include a new Catholic Diocese HQ’s next to St Annes and a new Salvation Army/City Mission Campus near by perhaps., East Side Churches & architectural tours starting at Michigan Baptist Church in a revitalized Little Harlem, jazz club district, a new police & Fire HQ’s with a large safety campus[community center, Social Services], One Stop Shop/BOCES/ECC vocational job training campus, a huge cultural corridor up and down Broadway from Michigan to Baily, that would include a huge Polish & German heritage district along with all cultures[restaurants,retail,breweries,markets,bazzars], a modern Broadway Market, mixed income housing, expanding advanced manufacturing this way from Riverbend  perhaps UB can have a campus expansion[architecture & planning], a new modern Buffalo Science Museum, WNY Train Museum blah, blah.. A lot of potential with the amount of land available as well as enough historical fabric in these old industrial neighborhoods to make it the Industrial version of Elmwood & Hertel Ave!

  • u1dery

    RPreskop Lance Sabo suggested that Amtrak operate commuter rail on the Belt Line. In other words, it would be heavy rail.  The trains would be scheduled among the freight trains by the railroad.   Light rail next to heavy freight rail would require the installation of sensors which would detect derailments ( http://www.railjobsusa.com/article/rtd-alarm-system-to-detect-trouble-on-light-rail-tracks-3730.htm ).  The feds have many more rules for light rail to follow when it is next to heavy rail.

  • jonny99

    Check out stadium proposal in AV this week, best idea yet, albeit very grandiose and quite unlikely to ever be considered.

  • panther01

    @jonny99 Doesn’t something have to practical and obtainable to be considered the best idea yet? Hope that you have more realistic plans in case you win the lottery. Or should I start planing for the party now? The AV plan will never be considered because its to expensive and the downtown economy would die during construction. Think main st and metro rail, but now its the harbor center and canalside.

  • RPreskop

    jonny99 The stadium proposal in Artvoice is a  childish, grandiose pipe dream. The last thing our downtown core needs is another out of scale architectural monstrosity surrounded by parking for cars. The Bills stadium does not belong right downtown and this whole proposal is unrealistic and the price tag, I don’t want to go there.  This urban planning professor at UB obviously knows nothing about the real world. He is just like most of our politicians, chasing after these massive silver bullets hoping that the urban core will finally rejuvenate and return to prosperity.  Where is the money going to come from to bury the I-190? Does this man realize that there is a high water table in that part of downtown and that tunneling a highway could be problematic and costly. Football stadiums are only suitable for areas of low density since they are car centric, most fans prefer to drive to the game. The only area in the city of Buffalo that is suitable for a new Bills Stadium is the Central Terminal area on the east side since the overwhelming majority of that neighborhood is mostly gone due to decades of neglect, decay, and disinvestment. Other than that, the only other suitable areas for the stadium are the Seneca Mall site on Ridge Road and the I-90, and their current location in Orchard Park. But this whole downtown stadium plan definitely needs to be killed dead ASAP.

  • RPreskop

    solonggone Buffaboy That is if the taxpayers want to foot the bill for a stadium near the First Niagara Arena. I think most Western New Yorkers are getting fed up with the NFL and the Bills with their hands out constantly for more money from the public sector.  If Terry buys the Bills, he is going to have to work with we the people if any new stadium gets public funding. Or he is going to have to make due with the current football stadium in Orchard Park. And if that doesn’t work, well than he has the option to put the Bills up for sale and sell them to any interested investor from anywhere in the US or outside the US.

  • jonny99

    Like I said, “grandiose and will never be considered”

  • RoyUnderwood76

    Dear Momoflance: You are cracking me up!  Also, what nationality are you?  Because I believe that the name Sabo is of Hungarian descent, but to me, Lance sounds like he’s Polish.  I think the real reason that he likes the Central Terminal idea so much is because you and him can head over to the Broadway Market on Sunday morning before the game starts and pick up 10 lbs. of Spicy Kielbasa and some cabbage.

  • RoyUnderwood76

    I also believe that Terry Pegula plans to buy the Buffalo Bills so that he can immediately sell the Franchise to Los Angeles, thereby eliminating any competition to the Buffalo Sabres for the limited Buffalo sports dollar.  Well played Mr. Pegula, well played.

  • RoyUnderwood76

    One last note; when leaving the Buffalo Bills Central Terminal Stadium at 12am after a Monday Night football game, and heading down Memorial Drive to Fillmore Avenue towards the 190 to get home, do not accidently make a left hand turn onto Howard Street.  Many go in, few come out!

  • MomofLance

    @RoyUnderwood76 You are correct my 3rd ex husband was Hunarian. Growing I always told Lance that he was a kick-in the ass away from being Polish. It appears he talk to heart and that he has no ethnic bias, butat the same time he also seems to have self esteem issues. What’s a mother to do.