One would think that by this stage of the game, we would know the future of the Scajaquada Expressway. One would think that we would be well on our way towards creating a magnificent boulevard that would reconnect Delaware Park in the process. But unfortunately, this plan is as slow moving as the traffic on the expressway. And that is bothering Buffalo Common Councilmembers Joe Golombek and Joel Feroleto. That is why they have filed “a resolution asking Governor Cuomo to implement a nationwide design competition for the 33 and 198 Expressways, similar to what just took place with the Skyway.”
Councilmember Golombek said, “I believe that the residents of the North and Delaware districts deserve walkable neighborhoods around their park, and I am excited for what the future brings with the redevelopment of the Scajaquada Expressway. However, we need to meet the immediate safety needs of the commuters who use the expressway as it currently stands. I believe we can all agree that 30 miles per hour is too slow and 50 miles per hour is too fast. Perhaps the solution is a compromise of 40 miles per hour while a permanent solution is reached.”
Councilmember Feroleto said, “The recent Skyway Corridor Competition resulted in many creative and unique ideas. We would like to see a similar competition for the Scajaquada Expressway.”
Councilmember Feroleto added, “The New York State Department of Transportation should increase the speed of the 198 to 40 miles per hour while the process of permanent design changes continues to be explored and decided upon.”
Obviously, the NYS Department of Transportation is not suited to come up with an inspiring and practical plan on its own, which means that we need to open up the process to others. In fact, this is something that should have happened years ago, knowing the DOT’s track record with poor highway concepts.
Hopefully Governor Cuomo is open to this new idea, because we all know that the next plan presented by the NYSDOT will probably be just as lame as the rest of their plans, which means that it will have to go back to the drawing board again. Why take the chance? Why take the time? Let’s get this thing done right this time – let’s get some of the best in the business to take a whack at this project. Otherwise we’re going to continue to aimlessly run around in circles, which is what we have been doing for far too many years.
Golombek & Feroleto – Speed Limit and Redevelopment of the Scajaquada Expressway
Whereas The Scajaquada Expressway Route 198 and Kensington have separated communities, disrupted commerce, and destroyed parkland since its construction in the 1950s;
after extensive talks between the New York State Department of Transportation and community stakeholders, NYSDOT short term plans to calm traffic on the Scajaquada Expressway were implemented in 2015;
these short term calming measures included reducing the speed limit from 50 to 30 miles per hour;
as it currently stands, this speed reduction to 30 miles per hour does not match the design and traffic flow of the expressway, which has confused and frustrated commuters and made for a potentially unsafe driving environment;
the Scajaquada Expressway was originally designed to have a 40 mile per hour speed limit, which could potentially be a safer speed limit than either 50 or 30 miles per hour;
the permanent plans for the Scajaquada Expressway could potentially involve permanently reducing the speed limit of the 198 expressway by updating the infrastructure to reflect such a decision;
while the permanent plan for the Scajaquada Expressway is being considered, the speed limit should be raised to an appropriate speed until construction takes place and a new design is implemented;
in addition to speed limits and other traffic calming measures, there have been many discussions to implement urban renewal and green space preservation in a long term plan for the Scajaquada Expressway;
the redevelopment of the Scajaquada Expressway and Humboldt Parkway is of major importance and the measures taken should reflect what is best for Buffalo and its citizens;
Governor Andrew Cuomo recently had a nationwide competition seeking creative solutions to address the Buffalo Skyway; this competition provided many great plans for redevelopment and the program was a great success;
Meeting: 10/01/19 02:00 PM Department: Common Council Category: Resolution Prepared By: Jim Montour
Initiator: Jim Montour Sponsors: Delaware District Council Member Feroleto, North District Council Member Golombek Jr
Updated: 9/20/2019 2:02 PM by Jim Montour Page 1 | Agenda Item (ID # 10601) Meeting of October 1, 2019
Whereas in addition to the Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council’s input, it would be of additional value to seek proposals for inventive redesign of the Scajaquada Expressway from across the nation: Now, Therefore Be It Resolved that The City of Buffalo Common Council –
1) Requests the speed limit on the Scajaquada Expressway be raised to an appropriate speed until construction takes place and a new design is implemented;
2) Calls on the Governor to implement a nationwide competition seeking creative ideas and plans for the 33 and 198 Expressways;
3) Requests that copies of this resolution be sent to Governor Andrew Cuomo, the New York State Department of Transportation, the Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy and Corporation Counsel for their consideration.