Plans were unveiled Friday for a linear park and public space along Ellicott Street within the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus.
According to BNMC Chairman of the Board of Directors William Joyce, the park will run from Goodell to Best Streets and will serve as a public space for employees, patients and visitors of the medical campus. Plans include public art, bicycle racks and custom seating, along with a change to 2-way traffic on Ellicott Street.
Mayor Byron Brown announced his intentions to recommend $230,500 in city capital bonds toward these streetscape improvements to the Buffalo Common Council in a meeting to be held on Tuesday, September 30. Senators Schumer and Clinton along with Representatives Slaughter and Higgins have already secured $1.9M through the Federal Transit Authority and $3.2M through the Federal Highway Administration for the project.
Saying that the BNMC presents “a tremendous engine of opportunity” Mayor Brown explained that his job as mayor calls for him to work in partnership with his colleagues in government to make the medical campus convenient for commercial development as well as the employees and patients.
In addition, Mayor Brown pointed out the transformation that has taken place in the Fruit Belt section of the city, east of Main Street, due largely to the efforts of Rev. Michael Chapman of St. John the Baptist Church. “Reverend Chapman has made sure the neighborhood grows as the campus grows,” Brown said, noting church development and housing improvements.
Councilmember Brian Davis backed Brown up, saying ” We will carry the ball to the common council. We find this not just an opportunity for the employees and residents here, but this is an important linkage to both sides of Main Street, between the Fruit Belt and Allentown districts.”
Davis said the idea was to use the medical campus and new green space to create “a barrier-free community.”
“[The BNMC] is one of the most significant projects in the entire state,” Brown said.
Top Photo: BNMC Director of Planning and Implementation Mike Ball, Councilmember Brian Davis, Mayor Byron Brown and the BNMC board’s William Joyce.