By Adrienne Boudreau:
The reconsideration is due to the aftermath following the last public meeting regarding the Scajaquada redesign where the bulk of people were not pleased with the proposed plan.
“People were saying that it was too fast [with a speed limit of 40 mph] and still too divided and there was a general concern about pedestrian safety,” said Ryan.
“Truth be told the DOT never even modeled or studied the 30mph speed limit and what its implications would be, so we’e going to try that now,” he said.
Amidst the cold and the rain, Assemblyman Ryan made the announcement on the Lincoln Parkway bike path, his voice struggling to compete with the noise of the cars and trucks whizzing by behind him on the very expressway being discussed.
“You’ve got to tell the DOT exactly what we want and need. We want interconnectivity between the neighborhoods and Buffalo State. The whole fear behind changing this mistake [resulting in] ‘carmageddon’ is not real, it’s an urban legend,” said Paul Gorski of the Pan-Amherst Block Club.
Gorski spoke passionately at the last public meeting at Buffalo State that the current design was not extreme enough of a change to rectify this mistake made decades ago.
Mistake was the word of the day. Everyone could agree that the building of the expressway, through one of Buffalo’s most beloved neighborhoods, to connect the I-90 with the I-190, was a mistake. The word ‘mistake’ was uttered by each speaker at least twice, in case there was any doubt of their intentions with the 198.
“Cities across the nation and world are removing expressways and it’s working. When you build quality of life you attract businesses,” said Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo, who has been working with the other stakeholders to find a solution to the mistake the public can get behind.
Ryan also pointed out that the car traffic being put back on streets like Hertel Avenue or Amherst Street could give life back to those streets and revitalize the surrounding businesses.
Assemblyman Ryan concluded that feedback from the public is the best way to keep the project on track.
The next public meeting is tentatively scheduled for May, depending on if the study is completed by then.