When it comes to being green, Buffalo is on the right track. At the same time, there is a lot of room for improvement, especially when we’re talking about public transportation. Yes, we have a very walkable city that has incredibly flat bike conditions. At the same time, when it’s snowy out, there are a lot fewer cyclists on the road. Honestly, Buffalo should be looking to bring back the trolley system while speeding up the Belt Line initiative. And don’t forget about the cable cars that would link the Inner and Outer Harbors.
In recent years we have been cleaning up our waters. Since Bethlehem Steel closed, our skies are no longer filled with smog. We’re adding more bike lanes each year. There is virtually no traffic in Buffalo, even though this is still a city where people love to drive. But everything is close by for the most part, and easy to get to. If the Metro Rail was to be extended, that would be a great boon to Buffalo’s green economy. There are plenty of cities where long and congested commutes are still king. That’s not the case in Buffalo.
Due to Buffalo’s four seasons, there are plenty of SUVs on the road, which probably contributed to our elevated Annual Excess Fuel Consumed ranking. Buffalo ranked better than average in greenness stats that included % of Commuters Who Drive, Bike Score, Number of Farmers Markets per Capita, Median Air Quality Index, Annual Excess Fuel Consumed and Walk Score.
With October being National Energy Awareness Month and 71 percent of Americans today supporting efforts to protect the environment, the personal finance website WalletHub conducted an in-depth analysis of 2015’s Greenest Cities in America. To identify the cities that most encourage an environmentally friendly lifestyle, WalletHub analyzed the 100 most populated U.S. cities across 13 key metrics, ranging from greenhouse-gas emissions per capita to the number of smart-energy policies and initiatives.
“Greenness” of Buffalo (1=Best; 50=Avg.)
- 18th – % of Commuters Who Drive
- 37th – Bike Score
- 33rd – Number of Farmers Markets per Capita
- 18th – Median Air Quality Index
- 44th – Annual Excess Fuel Consumed
- 16th – Walk Score