To think that the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy actually has to launch a campaign to save Delaware Park is ludicrous. Where are our leaders that should be driving this issue? Why, in this day and age, do we have to battle it out with the NYS Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) on these types of issues? It’s time to do the right thing for our parks, our city, and its people.
Since the majority of our public officials remain silent on this issue, it’s up to the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, and the people of Buffalo, to save the day. With your support, we can create a parkway that is bold and beautiful, instead of a roadway that is disconnected from our neighborhoods. This freeway has been driving this city apart for years. Now it can be a catalyst to bring people back together. But it’s going to take a concerted effort by all of us.
“Construction of the Scajaquada Expressway divided and destroyed acres of parkland in the jewel of Olmsted’s system. Right now, we have an unprecedented opportunity to reverse this mistake – but only if we can convince Governor Cuomo to help us save Delaware Park,” stated Stephanie Crockatt. “The Governor has done so much to focus efforts to help revitalize Buffalo. Saving Delaware Park and restoring Olmsted’s vision is the type of legacy project that is a hallmark of Governor Cuomo’s leadership.”
The Conservancy is calling upon residents of Western New York to let their voice be heard and tell the NYS DOT to rethink its current short-sighted plan, and join with the community on a comprehensive approach that would reunite the park, reconnect the community, and improve accessibility through safe complete streets.
Now The Conservancy is stepping up the effort to save Delaware Park by launching the initiative #SaveDelawarePark. The newfound effort would help to save 14 acres of parkland, and reconnect a city. The NYSDOT has been working on the design of the 198 Scajaquada Expressway for over 15 years, which is incredible if you think about it, because we are being shown nothing inspirational and forward thinking. Nothing.
There is building momentum for additional traffic calming measures for this freeway. But so far it’s been falling on deaf ears. The temporary traffic calming initiatives, in place thanks to the leadership of Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Byron Brown’s, is just the start. According to a recent release from The Conservancy, “Unfortunately, the proposal released by NYS DOT falls far short of what was promised and fails to correct mistakes that date back to the 1950’s – when the Scajaquada Expressway divided and destroyed acres of parkland in Delaware Park, cut off residential sectors from the park, creek and waterfront, obliterated Humboldt Parkway, limited access to Main Street, and bisected established neighborhoods.”
Members of the community are invited to attend several events and forums over the next several months and to join the thousands of people that have already signed the petition to #SaveDelawarePark at Save Delaware Park: Restore Olmsted’s Legacy. Lawn signs are also available for pick up at The Delaware Park Lodge, 84 Parkside Avenue. For the most up-to-date events calendar and to get involved today, please visit bfloparks.org/198.
Lead image: Rendering by The Conservancy – Learn more.