One the nastiest roadways located within a residential neighborhood is one step closer to getting a much needed makeover. The agony of cars speeding along Parkside Avenue at Florence Avenue has been a heated debate for years. Cars race up and down Parkside, and continually careen off the road at one particular bend in the road, and into one particular house. Since Parkside Avenue links up with Rt. 198 Scajaquada Expressway, there is a feeling that it’s OK to speed. There are insufficient traffic calming measures in place, lack of bike lanes, etc.
Starting June 14, the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works will embark upon a $600,000* infrastructure project that will address many of the problematic issues that plaque the neighborhood. Drivers are being encouraged to use alternate roadways while work is underway.
Unfortunately the design is not progressive enough, in that it should have one vehicular lane in each direction, and bike lanes. As it stands, the project will convert Parkside into a three lane roadway with parking on the east side and a turning lane. The design below gives an idea about what it will look like.
One would think that will all of the talk about traffic calming, this street, bounding a park and a neighborhood, could have been brought down to two lanes with bike lanes? Obviously the idea is to continue to get the current traffic numbers flowing along Parkside with the least amount of disruptions for drivers, which is not necessarily the best plan.
[While work is underway] drivers are being encouraged to use alternate roadways while work is underway.
In cases when more aggressive traffic calming measures are implemented, some drivers end up using alternative routes. Parkside should not be considered a thoroughfare for cars. Drivers attempting to get to the 33 should be incorporating alternative routes into their commutes, instead of relying on urban neighborhoods to provide them with the easiest and fastest exit points. Is it going to be better than what’s there currently? Yes. Is it a progressive urban plan? No.
Mayor Brown stated, “Our top priority is ensuring the safety of our residents and this $600,000 infrastructure project along Parkside Avenue is a long-term investment that will result in improved traffic calming and safety measures. I thank the community for working closely with us on this project, as well as my partners in government who helped secure the necessary funding.”
“Improvements on this stretch of Parkside will allow for a safer pedestrian experience and a more efficient flow of traffic that helps address the needs of the residents and visitors to the Parkside neighborhood,” said Congressman Brian Higgins.
“Cities often struggle with increased vehicular traffic, the planned (traffic diversion for the) downgrade and reconstruction of the Rt. 198 Scajaquada Expressway will only add to this problem in the Parkside Community,” said Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes. “The planned traffic-calming measures will improve safety, reconfigure an intersection, and allow individuals and families to continue to safely enjoy Delaware Park and the Buffalo Zoo. I applaud Mayor Byron Brown for his commitment towards pedestrian safety; I am also very pleased that $150,000 in NYS CHIPS funding helped to make this $600,000 project a reality.”
Assemblyman Sean Ryan said “I am pleased to see this project moving forward, and I thank Mayor Brown for working diligently to receive public input and advance this critical traffic calming project. When completed, this project will help to ease the flow of traffic, and improve safety for the Parkside community.”
*$450,000 Federal and $150,000 NYS CHIPS