Author: Phil Wilcox, Pendleton, NY
The recent News article regarding the Canadian developer making a major investment into Buffalo real estate was yet more evidence of the momentum of the greater Buffalo-Niagara region’s resurgence and included some valuable observations.
Among the most notable was the simple example of living in Oakville, Ont. and refreshingly described the easy 40-minute commute to Buffalo as opposed to the “two day” drive in the same distance to Toronto.
The most important take-away from that real-life observation is that the public transit growth in and around Toronto did not begin to keep pace with the greater expansion of jobs and population, and today makes daily vehicle transit there a bumper to bumper time sucking nightmare.
The good news for Buffalo Niagara is the current sustained growth that we should celebrate, which should also reinforce us to “grow smart” and learn from our neighbors to the North regarding getting ahead of transit planning.
The really good news is public transit dramatically reduces greenhouse gas emissions and is on the front page of advancing that approach with associated and timely investments, as GHG transit emissions now tower above those from power generation in New York and elsewhere in the country, and that sector now warrants commensurate investment that succeeded in reducing power generation emissions.
Voices must coalesce around this concept now and demand investment that gets ahead of local transit needs and sustains our growth while avoiding the type of daily traffic congestion that most continued growth cities experience.
At the same time, we can set a model to strategically invest in cost effective carbon emission reductions.