Over the last couple of days, a number of readers have been pointing to Denver as a city that Buffalo should emulate when it comes to rail transportation initiatives. One person said that he had just paid a visit to Denver’s restored Union Station, with an active Amtrak, bus, and local train service.
“[There were] restaurants, shops, clean, bright, valet parking. I couldn’t help think what a missed opportunity we are embarking on with the new train station going on Exchange.”
The reader noted the smaller, lackluster building, and the missed opportunity for the Central Terminal to be used as a catalyst to redevelop the East Side.
Another reader pointed to a recent NYTimes article that discussed Denver and its Winter Park Express, which takes passengers to the surrounding ski slopes. Passengers can also get directly to the International Airport. This reader stated that Buffalo could have looked at Niagara Falls the same way Denver looks at a prime ski destination. Rail service could have been built connecting the Central Terminal to the airport (in one direction) and Larkinville and downtown (in the other direction), with the Central Terminal as the invigorated hub.
If The City had looked at Broadway as an investment corridor into the East Side, and dedicated substantial funding into the creation of a prime thoroughfare, the ripple effect would have been impressive. Now that major investments will finally be made into the East Side (that could be leveraged), there is a rallying cry to concentrate the funds into prime areas to get a bigger bang for the buck. With a substantial investment into the Broadway Market, Broadway’s infrastructure, key historic buildings, while working hand-in-hand with progressive developers to help build up the Broadway Commercial Corridor, the Central Terminal would have been considered primely positioned, instead of considered adrift and alone on the East Side.
At one point, when the Central Terminal was being considered for the Amtrak Station, we had developers considering the advantages of The Central Terminal as a potential mixed-use complex, with commercial and residential components. The Central Terminal, like Larkinville, could have positioned itself as a destination that would have been amplified with Broadway investments. If done right, it could have become another core component of the city that would have been a pleasure to visit, unlike the airport, which is simply a necessary travel component. The downtown Exchange Station will also be a “necessary travel component”, instead of being the grand and luxurious station that it could have been.