University Heights Collaborative has posted some new images (see lead photo and below) that show work underway to build a $1.2 million multi-use trail and bike path. The development is, incredibly, 20 years in the making, but is finally coming to fruition.
Representatives from the City have struck up a ten-year renewable lease with the NFTA, who currently owns the abandoned former rail line. The short path through Minnesota Avenue Linear Park will be improved and incorporated into this plan, allowing easy access to the trail from an increasingly vibrant University Heights neighborhood and the eastern edge of North Buffalo.
The new path will stretch between the LaSalle Metro Rail station and Kenmore Avenue, before linking up with the new path being created by Tonawanda on the other side of Kenmore (Erie County Rails-to-Trails project). Once both projects are completed it will be possible for recreational cyclists and commuters alike to ride separate from automobile traffic between the City of Tonawanda and Buffalo, connecting many popular bike paths along the water (such as the Riverwalk) to the NFTA’s most popular form of mass transit.
The existing path through Minnesota Avenue Linear Park will be widened to 12 feet to mirror the new segments, which will connect to the Linear Park path at Merrimac Street and run to both Kenmore Avenue and Taunton Place on the rail property. All sections of new path will be lit for added safety, with the possibility for the addition of BlueLight cameras at several key locations.