The Campaign for Greater Buffalo, founded by preservationist and urbanist Tim Tielman, recently asked the community to attend an upcoming meeting that shed additional light on the Department of Transportation’s (DOT) decision to build a $25,000,000 train station at the former site of the Amtrak station. Tielman intended to show that this is a flawed decision, that does not take the community’s interest to heart. Tielman says that even the process was flawed – the site was chosen without an environmental review, and decision makers did their best to avoid the public meeting process. Tielman says that it is a grave mistake, by not locating the train station at Canalside, which is the obvious site. Below are renderings and scenarios that point to the potential of the Canalside location.
Above is an animation of the model of our Nexus project, focusing on the Intermodal Transportation Hub downtown. The goal is to enhance all the transportation modes that are already there, by creating a coherent and interlocking whole: Amtrak, Metrorail, NFTA buses, Intercity buses, bicycles, and walkers. The existing Thruway viaduct is treated with a sound-dampening that creates a ceiling for the other modes along a spine that stretches from Main Street to east of Washington Street. The Thruway then becomes of means of connection between downtown and the waterfront. A Nexus. Utilizing existing rail infrastructure, hotel and traveling facilities and 70 NFTA bus/metro routes to have the most impact with the least tax-payer and customer cost. It elevates public transit and it users and forms the basis of sustainable Transit-Oriented Development on Buffalo’s downtown waterfront. – Tim Tielman
Tielman, a Principal of urban consultants Place Advantage, argues that the lackluster single-mode station under the Thruway will haunt Buffalo for generations, by not being forward thinking and inclusive when it comes to the future of transportation. Below represents the failure of the determined site, in Tielman’s eyes.
“DOT/State is pulling out all the stops to publicize spending $1.6 billion in NYC for improved train hall for Penn Station, while giving us a 2nd class station and keeping public transit users firmly in their 2nd class status vis-a-vis cars,” says Tielman. “Also, you have to ask yourself, what is the rush to build a new building, if they are not addressing any of the other manifold problems of the site? Why not just fix the platforms and call it a day? You’d save a lot of money. The old station just got a new roof, so it is good to go on depressing us for another 50 years.”
Instead of committing the same crime twice, Tielman feels that Buffalo should be fighting for an intermodal alternative sited on Washington Street, facing Main Street with interconnections to all other modes of travel, as well as hotels, restaurants, and the Canal District.
The Campaign is asking that community members get involved by reaching out to their representatives, to ask them to reevaluate the situation, and to not make a hasty decision that will negatively impact Buffalo’s future transportation potential.
NY Senate (63rd District): Hon. Timothy M. Kennedy