Author: Charles N.
[Here is a] Step by Step process to move from current layout to something better suited to the needs of residents and commuters. I would recommend things proceed in a Tick-Tock fashion alternating between Resident focused projects (Tick) and Commuter focused projects (Tock). But both parts of the upgrades would focus on increasing usability. Resident focused projects would include improvements to traffic flow and Commuter focused projects would help residents access more parts of the city. The end goal would be to remove highways that currently cut through sections of the city in a very negative way without increasing commute times. Eventually 190 would be removed from downtown. While it may not seem possible to remove highway without increasing commute time, there are several poorly planned intersections and off-ramps that do not meet the needs of commuters.
Most Western New Yorkers understand where every highway traffic snarl is. 198 to 33 east, 33 to 90, 290 east to 90 west, 190 south to 90 west, 400 north to 90 east, 219 north to 90 east, and finally The Skyway. On the surface roads there are a lot of traffic snarls where the roads attempt to funnel traffic onto the highways.
Step 1 (Tick): Remove of 198 and Repurpose of Entryways
- Demolish and remove Buffalo City Towing and Storage Property. Redirect the 198 lanes from 190 to grade over Letchworth Street and into Rockwell Road. Stop light at Grant Street
- Redirect 198 lanes from Parkside to traffic circle with Delaware Ave
- Repurpose current 198 bridge over Delaware Ave. Join with Meadow Road in the park and end in parking lot next to tennis courts
- Return cars to the full loop of Meadow Road around the park, but fully mark bike lanes
- Remove the south entrance to park at Agassiz Circle
- Rejoin two ends of Lincoln Parkway currently bisected by 198
- Repurpose Current Elmwood to 198 West onramp to extend Nottingham Terrace to Iroquois Drive as a secondary access to Buffalo State
Complete removal of 198 from Delaware to beyond Grant Street allows the rejoining of the park and the opportunity to redevelop the creek for more resident access. Commuters could proceed from 33 to 198 to Delaware to either Nottingham terrace or Forrest Avenue for access to Buffalo State, but the main access would be from 190.
While this does represent a compromise, in that Agassiz Circle and Humboldt Parkway are still “highway’ at this point, future upgrades would seek to correct this issue. Since the cemetery doesn’t allow access from the park, leaving in the parkway along the border of the park continues to allow effective commuter flow. While it does represent an issue to people currently commuting to Buffalo State from the East Side of the city, it shouldn’t affect suburban commuters too negatively as they would continue to have access through 190 they currently use.
Step 2 (Tock): Extend William L Gaiter Parkway to Amherst Street and E Delavan as a true parkway and add on/off ramps to Route 33.
This upgrade would seek to alleviate some of the traffic flow problems that result from Step 1 and future Step 3. This would allow people more direct access to the 33 from Amherst Street and from Delavan. This would reduce traffic flow along Parkside and 198. Upgrade should also seek to address traffic lights at Amherst, Parker and Main that really clog that intersection.
Step 3 (Tick): Recover northern part of Humboldt Parkway and redirect traffic onto Kensington Avenue. Then remove Kensington Avenue from Verdun to Fillmore. Connect new section of parkway to the 33. Also add off and on ramps connecting the 33 to Delavan more effectively.
This would allow a much shorter pathway from the 33 to 198 section along edge of the park. So while the road would become more of a parkway with a stoplight at Main Street and Fillmore, the travel along Main Street is much improved. The recovered part of Humboldt Parkway is not connected to Main Street or to Delavan. This turns this section into a linear park for this neighborhood. A commuter benefit is that the traffic jam currently in place due to 198 and Delavan coming together on the 198 to 33 east ramp has been removed. Unfortunately some structures between the 33 Fillmore and Kensington would need to be removed to accommodate the on and off ramps to 33.
Step 4 (Tock): Extend Route 400 to I-190 along power line right of way. 190 South bound can exit directly to 400 South, and 400 North Extends to 190 North. You can now go from 400 South to 90 West. There is no connection between 400 North and 190 South or 190 North and 400 South. Remove connection from 190 South to 90 South and 90 North to 190 North. The intersection also allows 219 traffic to merge from 219 directly onto 400 into 190 without merging onto 90. This fully ‘commuter focused’ project seeks to reduce traffic congestion on the 90 as future resident projects will increase use of the 90.
Step (Tock): Connect Tifft Street to Smith Street along rail line. Currently Smith street has 190 exits and onramps. This is the replacement for The Skyways.
Step (Tick): Remove The Skyway. Highlighted in green is a parking lot of on and off ramps that would be prime real estate. Also this opens up more lots at Canalside by removing the supports for the Skyway that take up considerable space. Increasing the density of Canalside is critical to future success.
Step (Tock): Upgrade 290 to 90 interchange so that you can get on express lanes to go from 290 directly to 400/219. Create express along 90. The old ramps that went from 190 South to 90 South and 90 North to 190 North can be repurposed to where 90 Express meets 90. 90 Express can also directly exit onto 190 North.