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This Was Destroyed to Save Five Minutes

These compelling images show what was lost in the lower west end of Delaware Park so that drivers could save maybe 5 minutes of driving time by using the Scajaquada Expressway through Delaware Park.  This is what the cost of that five minutes looks like.  This is the very heavy cost of a five-minute shorter commute. The destruction of the park is not worth tiny return in an individual’s commute time.  Here is an idea.  Move someplace that requires less driving.

Destroyed, replaced by an ugly viaduct.

 Gone, for no good reason.

This lovely vista is now marred by an ugly highway with giant traffic signs and viaducts.

What can you say? This is a most extraordinary place pictured here. This was robbed from the city in order to make it easier to drive faster and live farther away.

The damage done to the park is sickeningly apparent in this gorgeous view.  It is likely regional leaders were already planning its destruction at the time this picture was taken

The State of New York is promising a “park themed” boulevard in Delaware Park.  Their design drawings indicate that, to them, this means high-capacity roadway with 30 foot high light poles. What the city really needs is a park designed for people.  Forget about the “theme” and just return the Scajaquada land back to a park.

The Elmwood Avenue bridge then and now.  This comparison reveals the depravity of our modern car culture.  This destruction needs to be reversed.  Mayor Brown, You need to demand the return of the Park to the people.

Buffalo needs to stop thinking small.  Buffalo needs to rid itself of the Scajaquada.  It is not an asset. It is a lead anchor tangled around the heart of the city. Buffalo needs to start thinking big and take this once in several generation opportunity to do something really spectacular.  Get rid of the Scajaquada and stretch a park from the River to the Kensington.

The Great architect Daniel Burnham said:

“Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood and probably themselves will not be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will never die, but long after we are gone will be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistency.”

Written by David Steele

David Steele

Architect ( a real one, not just the armchair type), author of "Buffalo, Architecture in the American Forgotten Land" ( ), lover of great spaces, hater of sprawl and waste,
advocate for a better way of doing things.

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