For the first time since the early 1980s, cars are now legally allowed to drive on Main Street between Tupper and Chippewa streets. Officials marked the completion of the Cars Sharing Main Street project today with a ceremony before giving cars the green light. Work on the project was complete since last fall but the opening was delayed so that the signaling system could be tested and the NFTA could implement a safety program for its light rail operators.
The work extends the streetscape work that has already been completed on the 700 block of Main Street. Mark Cerrone, Inc. was the contractor for the $8 million project which started construction in October 2012.
Officials expect that vehicular traffic will bring better access to Shea’s, the Market Arcade and the adjacent cinema complex that is inline for a revamp, and spur retail and restaurant investment along the block which has struggled to fill its first floor spaces.
“Reopening downtown Main Street for business and entertainment is a real game-changer for Buffalo and it’s exciting to see vehicles now rolling down this stretch of Main Street for the first time in decades,” said Mayor Brown
Streetscape improvements mirror those done in the 700 block of Main Street and include trees, bike rakes, directional maps and interpretive signage, and upgraded streetlights. On-street parking has been added along with bike lanes and three drop-off areas. The Theater light rail station was removed.
Work continues on the $21 million next phase of the project between Chippewa and Mohawk streets. The long-range plan is to introduce automobile traffic to all of Main Street between Goodell and Scott streets but is dependent on unsecured funding.
Lead photo: 1919 Pierce Arrow passenger bus from the Pierce-Arrow Museum. – City of Buffalo