One of the most anticipated street redesigns is about to break ground, starting Monday. For years, the Allentown community has been looking forward to the day when Allen Street would be given an updated look and feel. When it comes to commercial districts in Buffalo, Allentown is one-of-a-kind. It’s a historic, tight-knit neighborhood.
Allen Street is bounded by Days Park on one end, and the Medical Campus on the other, which is two great extremes when it comes to how a neighborhood functions. Allen Street is currently so narrow that cars must hug the parking lanes as they pass by. In the winter, drivers must pull over to let an oncoming car pass. While this is nice in some instances because of the traffic calming aspects, it’s not practical, which is why it’s being updated.
Over the years, there have been plenty of opinions about what the future of Allen Street beholds. Some people have felt that parking should be reworked, to allow bike lanes – at one point a dedicated cycle track was considered. Others have said that cars/parking should have more leeway.
Back in May we posted about lot of these back and forths. Moving forward, Allen Street will have mountable curbs with removable parking bollards, which would allow for seamless bike-ped flow during special events and street festivals.
The look of the street is deemed “The Pathway”, due to the functional design flow extending from The Medical Campus to Days Park. The street will have more of a uniform look throughout, where existing restaurant patios must be rebuilt to conform to the street redesign. Trees will be removed, and new ones will be replanted in larger tree plots.
New lamp standards will be installed (hopefully the City can reuse the historic ones). Vehicle traffic lanes will be 11 feet wide, up from 9 or 10 feet currently, with bumpouts. There will be bike sharrows (share the road markers), raised crosswalks at Main Street, and Allentown-specific design features (many seen here). Ultimately, there will also be a bike-ped extension from Main to Ellicott, through the Medical Campus.
Residents and business owners are looking at a two-year construction schedule, starting with utility work. The Allen Street Extension Project gets started with Phase I, from Main to Delaware. Phase Two (still in need of funding) will stretch from Delaware to Wadsworth on Allen.
The City of Buffalo has retained Bergmann Associates, in conjunction with their partners Halvorson Design Partnership, Ravi Engineering, RK Hite & Co., and Highland Planning, to design the Allen Street Extension Project. The project is being overseen by a Technical Advisory Committee with representatives from the City, Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets, the Mayor’s Office of Strategic Planning, New York State Department of Transportation, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, and the Allentown Association.
Renderings and graphics in this post are from Allen Street Extension Project