Buffalonians are chomping at the bit to see a newly redesigned and fully implemented Niagara Street, stretching from Niagara Square to Ontario Street. There are so many different components that make up the street, each with its own diversity, composition, and unique assets.
As much as you might assume that the plans for Niagara Street are set in stone, they are not (at least from Porter Avenue to Ontario Street). The community is being given an opportunity to engage the process, to transform the street in ways that will help to turn this final stretch into aesthetically pleasing and utilitarian blocks. We can create unique areas that are tied together in sensitive and smart manners – areas the take into consideration the street’s proximity to the waterfront, and the historic neighborhoods that intersect along the way.
We also have a chance to create a place, where design accentuates the infrastructure, and the street’s urban fabric takes into account bikes, pedestrians, trees, gardens, seating, art and lighting. The community is invited to participate in planning exercises that will determine the future landscape of the street.
At this time, the Department of Public Works and the Buffalo Sewer Authority have embarked upon the construction of Niagara Street from Niagara Square to Porter Avenue. We’re hoping of the best on that section. I’m not sure why we never embarked upon similar exercises for that part of Niagara Street?
Moving forward, the organization Niagara Street Now will be leading the effort to engage the community to participate in a series of workshops that will help to mold the stretch between Porter Avenue to Ontario Street. The workshops will also take into account the intersection of Ferry and Niagara, extending to Robert Rich Way (Foot of Ferry), and its relationship with the Broderick Park, the Shoreline Trail, and the International Railroad Bridge.
There’s also the critical intersection at Niagara and Tonawanda that must be taken into account. The intersection is in close proximity to Deyowenoguhdoh Island (or Unity Island). Tonawanda Street also connects Niagara Street to Amherst Street. Not to mention Riverkeeper’s new waterfront park which is underway close by. Just think of all of the significant properties that have changed hands on Niagara Street, and the new developments that are underway – it’s certainly an exciting time re-envision Niagara Street as another viable commercial street in Buffalo, not simply as a thoroughfare for cars.
Now it’s our turn to get creative, and give our input. According to Niagara Street Now:
Workshops are scheduled for deeper discussion on how Niagara St should look in the future. These will be Open House style, so feel free to stop by for a quick visit or stay longer for discussion. You can register for the workshops here.
Workshops are scheduled for:
Tuesday, February 16th, 6pm – 8pm, Room 111 at D’Youville College’s College Center (329 Porter Ave.)
Wednesday, February 17th, 6pm – 8pm, Riverside Institute of Technology (51 Ontario St.)
Thursday, February 18th, 6pm – 8pm, Rich Products (1 Robert Rich Way – at W. Ferry and Niagara St.)