blogTO has posted a great article on Torontonians skating under The Gardener Expressway. The figure 8 skate track is called The Bentway Skate Trail, and apparently it’s part of a large park expansion project between Bathurst and Strachan. The trail is free to use, and there are skate rentals on site, according to author Amy Carlberg. There’s even a fun video that goes along with the article.
At the moment, Buffalo has plenty of skating opportunities – I’m not saying that we should be skating under any of our overpasses. I’m simply pointing out that there are always inventive ideas to help with urban connectivity, while activating underutilized areas of the city at the same time.
One of the biggest missed opportunities at Canalside, is the lame stretch of roadway known as Perry Blvd, which “helps” to bridge Canalside to the Erie Street. Erie Street is the connector between the Erie Basin Marina and the heart of Downtown. Every time I bike down that stretch of Perry Blvd, I wonder to myself how it even exists in its current form. There are new bike lanes on the stretch, but it’s not like anyone ever travels that extension. It’s a pointless waste of space. Unfortunately, there are auto overpasses to deal with, but look at the skaters enjoying themselves on the The Bentway Skate Trail, and tell me that they care that cars are passing by, high above their heads.
Someone should come up with an ingenious idea for this truncated section of Perry Blvd – I have a feeling that there are no plans for the immediate future, which is very unfortunate, because opportunities abound if the right creative people are allowed to freely brainstorm ideas.
Could this would be the perfect spot for Buffalo’s street artists? Close the street down to traffic, and create walls where graphic artists can create bold and beautiful works of urban art. See here, for example. Light it up at night with artistic LED elements, like San Antonio, for example? Or The Wabash Lights?
What would you do with this awkward boulevard extension that is front and center at the waterfront?