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Looking back at the 2016 New Year’s Wish List from BRO Commentors

Two years ago, Buffalo Rising ran a post in January asking readers what they would like to see take place in the new year (see post) and immediately beyond. Well, we’ve gone back to dig up those answers – it’s amazing how spot on some of the replies actually were. Although my wish to see a gondola project come to fruition got panned, others were incredibly insightful. From talks of the Adam’s Mark, to dreams of the Bills making the playoffs, to fixing the corner of Elmwood and Hertel, BRO commentors certainly had some premonitions per pending talks, plans, and developments! Let’s see how things progressed over the following two years.

sbrof 

The one thing that I would hope for is finally some positive movement in the school district. Never will the whole of Buffalo recover until it appeals to more than empty-nesters and pre-kid millennials. We need to cater to the 30 – 50 crowd a lot more if we hope to see population throughout a larger geographic area of the city.

Carrotflower

“not a believer in the practicality of the gondola project”

Is anybody, really?

Avatar

not a believer in the practicality of the gondola project.

I’d love to see the metrorail line expanded to either UB North or the airport. Doubtful such will happen, but I’d love it.

On a more practical note, I expect 2016 to bring news of continued Main St residential redevelopment clustered around subway stations.

Stateofmind

Competent, inspiring/inspired leadership.

Carrotflower 

At the top of my 2016 Buffalo wish list would be that any talk of a new downtown stadium for the Bills is definitively ruled out. We just sprung for hundreds of millions of dollars in taxpayer-funded renovations to the Ralph, and we shouldn’t be forced to sacrifice still more historic elements of downtown (the cobblestone-paved streets east of the FNC, regardless of whether there’s currently nothing but parking lots between them) for a white elephant that’s in use a single-digit number of times a year. If a new stadium absolutely must be built, put it in Orchard Park or maybe at the old Seneca Mall site.

Some actual progress in the 198 downgrade would also be nice.

No_Illusions 

sbrof – To be fair, the birth rate has never been lower.

So while I do agree, this isn’t as big of a problem as it once was.

However, it is going to take years of anti-poverty programs that promote upward mobility before we really see any results in the school districts. Solve poverty and Buffalo solves its education and crime issues too.

I think the city is on the right direction focusing on parochial schools that will hopefully attract even suburban kids as they gain prestige over time (just like City Honors does today).

BPS’ size does give it some advantages over the tiny suburban school districts.

BuffaloAllStar

How about the business community of WNY get together and NOT leave the funding for the NYE event to the very last minute? I swear Dec 14thru 31st..the bucket comes out to pay the bills.

Matter of fact..lets make the NYE event bigger and better. Bands, multiple stations, actual performers, maybe an actual winter festival. We have a main street now…lets show it off. 1000’s of people come to NYE…then 1000’s of people leave, immediately after.

jamperry11 

REBUILD THE CANAL RING TO THERE FULL NAVIGABLE STATE.

Simple = having lived many years in Amsterdam, Buffalo needs to rebuild it’s greatest lost asset. More waterways bring more business and recreation (year around). These canals would have cafes, shops, and businesses throughout the year. It is the heart and soul of the original 1800’s Buffalo.

No_Illusions 

That the NFTA would seriously take a look into other Metrorail Expansions.

Nothing crazy, but there are several relatively cheap and effective expansions they could make to Larkinville, to Riverbend and South Buffalo and to Buffalo State College.

Improving public transportation between Niagara Falls and Buffalo would be nice too. At the very least talk to Amtrak about possibly reducing fares and advertising the existing service between Exchange Street and Niagara Falls stations.

This would be a great foundation for an expanded system in the future.

No_Illusions 

Carrotflower – Downtown has so much space, and Buffalo despite its progress is still not exactly booming.

There is no other single project that would make downtown feel more urban all at once than a stadium on its peripheral.

I agree that tax payers should be the one footing the bill for anything other than infrastructure (imagine if Artvoice’s rendition came to frution), but with some very wealthy interested parties, then let them build it with their own money.

No_Illusions

biniszkiewicz – We’ll find out what the NFTA ultimately decides on for a UB Metrorail expansion.

Fair chance it will go through, but also a chance we’ll be stuck with bus rapid transportation instead.

Michael DiPasquale

Prosperous neighborhoods and commercial districts. More public libraries, better schools and more good paying jobs.

Carrotflower 

The Artvoice proposal is the only downtown stadium proposal I could maybe get behind, but it’s also by far the least likely plan to be implemented. When you start talking about tunneling the 190 underground, even for a few blocks, you’re talking about costs spiraling to levels that are likely exponentially higher than the other proposals. That would be a tough pill for taxpayers to swallow. And, wouldn’t the DOT have to be on board for anything involving an interstate highway? That’s another layer of red tape. And we haven’t even gotten into where people are supposed to tailgate, etc. etc. etc.

Yes, there’s plenty of empty space downtown, but a football stadium has a pretty massive footprint. Other than the Artvoice plan, I don’t see a single whole piece of empty space large enough to accommodate one without destroying something historic.

Liberland4Life 

Stateofmind – Who do you have in mind.

Liberland4Life

biniszkiewicz – The gondola project is, if it does happen, is just a hand out to whatever corporation supplies the contract and to the union boys that construct it. Whomever is responsible deserves a solid flogging. As to the MetroRail. Has anyone considered doing just a bus service. It would require a lot less seed money.

No_Illusions 

Liberland4Life & biniszkiewicz – There already is a bus – route 74 Hamburg.

If the Outerharbor is going to be mostly parkland, I really don’t see the need for a gondola (other than as a cool tourist attraction).

blackolive

Carrotflower – How much are you contributing towards the cost?

Carrotflower 

I’m an Erie County taxpayer, so I’m contributing the same amount as you are, proportional to how much I pay in taxes.

Liberland4Life

No_Illusions & Liberland4Life & biniszkiewicz – My point exactly. Why do an expansion when they could simply make the service more frequent.

blackolive

Indictments handed out on the second floor of City Hall.

neverchange 

For 2016, I’d like to see a successful implementation of the next phase of the Start Up New York program. By this I mean a substantial amount of new jobs created by the 30+ Start up NY companies in WNY. 2016 will be the 2nd year in the program for most of these companies and this is the time in the program when they are required to start producing jobs or their participation in the program will be up for review. I’d think 200 – 250 new jobs is a realistic number if the selection process was done right.

neverchange

No_Illusions & sbrof – I can’t disagree with you more. Turning around the Buffalo Public schools is the most essential part of a sustained economic growth plan. Without a viable school district, income and reduced poverty will not happen in the city proper. If we don’t, in five years all those people currently moving into the “housing boom” in the city will be heading for the suburbs for other cities.

neverchange 

No_Illusions & neverchange & sbrof – Actually it is more like a horse and cart problem. Improve the school system (and the perception there of) and you will draw back in the type of parents who will be engaged. The result will be a simultaneous reduction in white flight and an increase in examples of parental engagement that the current parent base doesn’t have. Just ask your friends who have kids why they don’t live in the city.

grad94 

new construction on vacant lots or parking lots instead of demolishing viable buildings

municipal wi-fi

metro-rail to north campus

green code finally becomes the law of the land

urban highway removal

more shark girl selfies!

No_Illusions 

Carrotflower – A downtown stadium wouldn’t have the same footprint as the Ralph, so there are a few options.

The best area would be in at Louisiana and South Park. Some buildings would be demolished, but many are crumbling and not all of them have historic value.

Father Conway Park, Red Jacket Park or one of the abandoned industrial sites along the Buffalo River would work too. This might be better as it would allow some possibility for tailgating. This would also clean up areas that are even more of a challenge.

Who knows. Politicians are very wary about publicly funded stadiums, and as a result Pegula seems to be less keen on the matter. If a stadium is built, I imagine it will be a mega project for an entire section of the city.

No_Illusions 

neverchange & No_Illusions & sbrof

Education is part of solving cyclical poverty and can become a greater piece of he puzzle by offering more before and after school programs, but at the end of the day if parents are not sending their kids to school or engaging them academically at home, then none of that matters.

Currently, the BPS system is one of the best funded on a per student basis in the country. Just throwing money at the problem has not produce actual results.

Its a chicken and egg problem. You cannot have one without the other. Its why nothing much has changed in the past 15 years even with record spending.

buffloonitick 

palm trees planted along Main St downtown…

You might not have gotten your palm trees on Main Street, but you did get elephant ears (alocasia) on Delaware thanks to the Schneider family.

BuffaloBoi

Reopen Genesee St. All the way to Niagara Square and we’ll have more room for a larger NYE celebration.

BuffaloBoi 

Main Place Mall gets new owner, Eagle Street is reopened while the tower remains and a new mixed use building with first retial goes up where the mall once stood. Oh, and funding for the rest of Main Street comes in and work begins asap.

North Park

blackolive – For what crimes?

North Park 

neverchange & No_Illusions & sbrof – The BPS cannot be fixed. There isn’t a district of this size with these poverty statistics anywhere in American that is doing significantly better.

Certain school in certain cities are doing better, but those tend to have some special combination of incredible teachers and principles and there just aren’t that many heroes out there.

The BPS problems are almost 100% caused by demographics. In order to fix the schools you need to fix poverty in WNY. That’s where the focus should be.

foreverbflo 

1. I concur with BuffaloBoi on Main Place

2. GREEN CODE!!! Damnit already!

3. Outer Harbor INTELLIGENT design and implementation.

4. That developers and builders will ADHERE to the new Green Code and execute it as it is written.

5. Stanley Cup (that should have been first).

6. Buffalo gets the major National and International recognition that it deserves. Sure, we have had some, but not enough.

7. A comprehensive, sensible, feasible, grass roots, all-inclusive policy and program on re-use of fallow parcels (vacant lots) – that sets a national standard.

8. That the Catholic Diocese does their JOB better and find adaptive re-use for these glorious and historical churches. Shame on them.

9. Peace on Earth.

10. ISIS Free news reporting one week?

11. Win the lotto.

wcperspective

North Park – Extortion! The pay for play scheme with the Cleveland firm.

neverchange 

If number 11 were to come true would you go away and leave us alone?

neverchange

Solution then? How can you fix poverty without education?

smills

If anybody knew an answer to that question then there would no longer be any poverty. Thats the problem.

foreverbflo

PS – ACTUAL Physical and noticeable PROGRESS at the Central Terminal. Something. Anything! Love to have the possible interested developer make a signed commitment/contract with the CTRC!

How cool would that be for all of WNY?!! 🙂

That’s got to be on the overall Top 3 or Top 5 – easy.

foreverbflo

neverchange – Actually, in retrospect, if Hillary wins, I will never respond to BRO posts again – ever. Hows that? Good enough?

foreverbflo

neverchange – No, I would pay for St Anns and other churches to get “fixed”. Sorry. You have had me for 54 years and will likely have me another 30-40. I am in for the long haul. Like it or not. Dig it? Are you pickin up what I’m layin down?

No_Illusions

Actually, between Liazon and Bak USA, that number might have been met already.

Liazon has pledged 500 jobs whereas BAK has pledged 100.

But I agree, it would be great to see the smaller actual startups see some success.

This is a numbers game. There will be many startups that fail, but even if a few grow to be large companies over the next decade, the effects will be huge.

No_Illusions

Looking at the Republican candidates, I don’t see how the Democrats can lose this next election.

The Republicans are too fractured into their factions.

Their best chance is if someone like Rubio that can actually appeal to minorities wins. But if that happens the hyper Conservatives won’t bother to show up to vote.

smills 

The bus carries a stigma with it. Many people who would never step foot on a bus have no problem hopping in a train car.

greenca 

BuffaloBoi – That’s my wish in a fantasy sort of way. But the chance of that ever happening is years away.

No_Illusions

– Better housing practices for the poor that spreads poverty out and better integrates people into society

– Better public healthcare facilities

– Better fund community groups that are empowering their residents to take action and contribute (lot of great existing groups that could be expanded)

– Universal Daycare (this is something the entire city can benefit from)

– Workforce Development (lots of momentum here currently)

– Require students to join extracurricular Art, Music, and Athletics groups (art and music and certain sports improve grades, improves these kids self worth, and gives them a sense of family that might not get at home). Kids join gangs for two reasons: money and a sense of belonging. So lets give them a sense of belonging in a positive creative setting.

– Better thresholds for current poverty programs. Right now many people are punished for doing too well under the current system.

How do we pay for all this? While the initial cost is high, overtime we’ll have less people in need of these programs and more people contributing. In the long term, we could even be saving money.

foreverbflo

No_Illusions – Is there an election coming up? Did I miss it or something? When? Who? Cmon!!

BeardedBuffalonian

I’m going to pick some low hanging fruit here.

1 Finish “Cars Returning to Main St.” and remove all those unnecessary illegal U-Turn signs. on the 500 and 600 block…..it looks retarded.

OldFirstWard

1. The Sabres to actually win the draft lottery. Trade for Dustin Byfuglien and Andrew Ladd.

2. The Bills to hire a new Defensive Coordinator and Special Teams coach. Extend Gilmore, Incognito, Glenn and Taylor.

3. Announce that the empty stadium and myriad of empty lot spaces will remain in Orchard Park.

4. Transform the beautiful ornate Lafayette High School into a second City Honors School and divide the major programs between both schools.

5. Darryl Carr sells his South Park Cobblestone properties.

6. Re-develop the western side of Main St. between Court St. and E. Mohawk. Restore the old facades that are covered and possibly replace the Main Court Building

7. Demolish every building in the corridor between Elm St. and Oak from Genesee St. to South Division and expand the Medical Campus through here.

8. Establish a grant/loan program for homeowners only to restore and rebuild front porches and facades of homes ONLY.

9. Restore the Ellicott Square Building cornice.

10. City of Buffalo to start stabilizing and repair the National Historic Landmark Concrete Central Grain Elevator that it owns.

ImissBuffalo 

I want the psych center torn down and a new one announced for the medical campus. So then that lawn could be an extension of Delaware park. And the wing of the Richardson complex turned into a new art museum instead of an addition on the Knox. So it could be a huge extension of Delaware park and an art museum row. Also the complex would now look amazing from elmwood and forest.

Another thing is id love to see Starbucks on chip torn down and an awesome 20 story residential tower built on a small footprint.

Dreaming? Yes. Awesome ideas? Yes.

Penny Century

I’d like the Bills to make the playoffs.

No_Illusions

Penny Century – Don’t leave New York. You’d be surprised how relaxed other states are.

Buffaboy 

I’ll copy and paste my Wish list from SkyscraperCity…

1) NFTA secures funding for the Cobblestone extension

2) NFTA completes Amherst Corridor study and secures funding

3) At least one 15+ story building is announced

4) AM&A’s construction actually takes place

5) Ohio St. starts to fill in, more services and amenities head to that area

6) A developer presents a plan for the Children’s Hospital site

7) Another SolarCity-style economic development announcement

8) Infill development will conform to the Green Code and will exponentially increase in the East Side and downtown

9) Canalside parcels start to “come together”

10) The Central Terminal starts to come together

11) A plan for a Canalside Amtrak station is created

12) A sustainable plan for the Outer Harbor is created

runner68

A couple wishes:

1.) MetroRail expansion on both ends (Cobblestone/UB North) set in stone and funding to be applied for. Do it now before we lose focus.

2.) 400/300/200 Blocks of Main Street construction expedited. Money needs to be found.

3.) Something with the Central Terminal. Anything.

4.) Car/pedestrian bridge at either the foot of Main, Erie, or South Michigan (or all two/three). With removal or talk about Improvements done to the skyway in tandem. Simply, a plan.

5.) 198/33 conversation. Let’s just talk about it and see what happens.

6.) Ellicott street grid improvements/ changes back to original design. Downtown streetscape improvements. Maybe a plan for a certain amount of street improvements each year for every street.

7.) Heightened stadium talk. Get the pieces in place just in case something were to happen. This should not be something left for the future. It’s a big lift. My hunch tells me we will have a new one sooner or later. Whether it’s downtown or in OP. We need to have a proactive plan.

neverchange

wcperspective & North Park – How bout shooting from the grassy knoll?

neverchange

No_Illusions – Neither company has created even a third of that number so far. They have a long way to go and hopefully 2016 will bring them a lot closer.

neverchange

smills – So let’s focus on education then? It’s our best chance to get some improvement.

Nickel_Miner

One of my favorite ideas from 2015…Move NFTA train sheds to Central Terminal and combine the Depew and Exchange Street Amtrak stations at Central Terminal.

WNYer

1) Stadium announced to be built within Ohio Street corridor; retractable dome so stadium can be used year round

2) Convention Center is put up as RFP which -hopefully- includes demolition (see #1)

3) One Seneca gets power washed

4) Adam’s Mark is bought; demo’d and high-rise luxury apartments/condos announced for site

5) Nonsense holding up Gates Circle development gets resolved

HelptheArea

Do something about the corner of Elmwood and Hertel!! Not only does it look disgusting, it has quite possibly the worst red light in the city. I was so excited to see something going into the old donut shop, unfortunately its a Cash for Cans place, only adding to the mess.

rubagreta 

smills – The answer doesn’t cost taxpayers a single cent.

1) Pay attention in class and gradate from high school.

2) Upon graduation, if you are not college material (no offense intended, but too many people go to college who shouldn’t ), get a job, any job. Work hard at it.

3) Do not get pregnant or do not impregnate anybody.

4) Stay out of the criminal justice system. It’s actually easy not to commit a crime.

5) Only have children after you are married. Stay married if you can.

6) A married couple who both work retail jobs (say $40,000 to $45,000/year total) can easily afford to buy a house or rent a nice place in Buffalo.

Poverty over. Much better than the alternative of a lifetime of dependency on welfare, food stamps, Section 8 housing.The only drawback is the Welfarecrats would have nothing to do and would lose their jobs.

buffalo cyclist

1. The Common Council and ECHDC permanently shelve plans to privatize Canalside and instead decide to have it operate as public park that hosts concerts and festivals. The Canalside concert series sets new attendance records.

2. FN and Key Bank merger fails to win federal approval. Over a thousand local jobs are saved and banking competition is preserved.

3. The Green Code is adopted

4. Vacant storefronts on Elmwood, Main, Grant, Bailey, Niagara, Hertel and elsewhere are filled by local businesses. Previously unemployed residents find jobs at these businesses.

5. The city announces plans to calm Hertel Ave by adding bike lanes.

6. The ECHDC approves its revised plan that includes significant green space.

7. Buffalo abolishes homelessness.

8. The current School Board and Buffalo teachers union gets replaced by competent leadership dedicated to improving the school system. A city resident opens a vegan charter school.

9. The city announces plan to provide municipal sidewalk cleaning service. The service would be funded through efficiency savings in city government, meaning that taxpayers would not pay more.

neverchange

rubagreta & smills – 2 quick questions for ya: are there other people or does it snow in this fantasy world you live in

Carrotflower

HelptheArea – “Do something about the corner of Elmwood and Hertel!!”

And by “something” I hope you mean “something other than a Walmart”.

Rand503 

Nickel_Miner – And extend the metro to the Central Terminal and the airport.

sbrof 

neverchange & No_Illusions & sbrof – I think we are agreeing?

HelptheArea 

Carrotflower – Anything but a porn store, shopping carts and signage for dwi’s. I wouldn’t mind a small gas station, or perhaps a right turning lane. Who owns the empty lot?

OldFirstWard

WNYer – “1) Stadium announced to be built within Ohio Street corridor; retractable dome so stadium can be used year round”

Let’s see…Big Bills win on Sunday January 3rd. Next home game…IN SEPTEMBER!

Wait, is that crickets I hear chirping out in Orchard Park? Nine months of inactivity, can we say tractor pull. Keep it in OP.

buffloonitick

neverchange & wcperspective & North Park – quick, build a school book depository on one of those shovel ready lots…

paulbuffalo 

My wish for Buffalo is an end to the incessant Cellino & Barnes commercials. This local plague has spread through much of the country and the insipid jingle is too much to bear. Don’t wait, stop 8.

grad94 

paulbuffalo – i was in nyc for the holiday and wouldn’t you know it, cellino & barnes advertise in that market, too. one of the tv spots even showed delaware park. maybe they want to be the mcdonalds of legal representation.

neverchange 

sbrof & neverchange & No_Illusions – Yes, you and I are in general agreement.

North Park

jamperry11 – CristieLou is back again! Any new anti-Semitic rants to share Christie? Hope you had a nice holiday season!

yostk321 

1. The Buffalo Beauts and NWSL and WNY Flash and NWSL will continue.

2. Blondes vs. Brunettes Buffalo and their events will continue and tackle Alzheimer’s

3.Cansius College starts varsity men’s crew, women’s field hockey and women’s ice hockey, St. Bona starts varsity women’s volleyball, men’s lacrosse, and men’s and women’s ice hockey, Niagara U. starts men’s lacrosse and restarts women’s ice hockey, UB starts men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s ice hockey, women’s field hockey and men’s volleyball and Buff State converts the old Buffalo Structural Steel into a new stadium, converts the current Coyer Field into a men’s baseball field and tennis courts and starts men’s baseball, women’s field hockey, women’s tennis, and men’s lacrosse. (NCAA women’s field hockey is sorely lacking in WNY west of SUNY Brockport and Houghton College.

4. The North American Museum of Sport and Culture by the Strong Nat’l Museum of Play, Erie Canal/Great Lakes Museum, Buffalo Hall of Fame, and new Buffalo Fire Museum by the Edmund Cotter and DL&W terminal become closer to reality, as do Niagara Experience Center, containing aquafalls and energy-efficient wintergarden in the Rainbow Centre, as do stores there currently in Summit Park Mall and that gets knocked down to make way for a Wizard of Oz themepark.

5. The ideas for a new Bills stadium and new Buffalo convention center become deep-sixed.

HelptheArea

HelptheArea & Carrotflower – Looks like they painted over the DWI sign. Maybe my words have power, or someone failed to pay their bill.

foreverbflo

#1 – Pegula splurges and buys acne cream for Eichel.

#2 – Eichel STOPS incessantly chewing on that damn mouth guard of his. What is that, a “Bud” tooth guard? Is it just me? Look at the majority of the photos of him! I like the guy and he is the future, but C’mon!!!

Or, does the media try to capture him chewing it in every photo?

#3 – and SOMEONE please agree here… NO MORE 4-6 page Bills Analysis on Mondays in the Buff News!!! OMG Please! How much can you over-analyze a damn game? Seriously! Report cards, summary of EVERY play, name it…. I cant stand it and stopped reading sports on Monday – and Friday for that matter. I know it is not just me.

Stan Da Man 

Uber comes to Buffalo

(You called it Stan – see lead image, as Cuomo debuts Uber in Buffalo).

Written by queenseyes

queenseyes

Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

Contact Newell Nussbaumer | Newell@BuffaloRising.com

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