When I look at this image of a reimagined Scajaquada Corridor, I think “World class city.” I think that this is how our city was initially intended to look. But instead we got derailed by “progress.” Just think how different this city would be if the University at Buffalo was actually in the city. Or if freeways were not built along our waterfront, and through our parks. Not to mention the countless iconic buildings that were demolished. Buffalo was designed and built as a world class city. The bones are still there, upon which we can rebuild, but for some reason we have a hard time reinventing ourselves, mainly because we are adverse to change. Therefore, we must think to ourselves that “the way it is, was not the way it was intended.”
The 198 and 33 were named in the 2021 “Freeways without a Future” Report published by the Congress for new urbanism.
The Architect’s Newspaper is helping to remind us of our untapped potential. Buffalo is featured as one of the “30 US communities that are in various stages of exploring plans to take down elevated highways.” Other cities spotlighted in the article are: Portland, Oregon (I-5), Syracuse, New York (I-81), New Orleans (Claiborne Expressway, I-10), Austin, Texas (I-35), Denver (I-70), Tampa, Florida (I-275), Oakland, California (I-980), Dallas (I-345), and Louisville, Kentucky (I-64). Buffalo was the only city that featured a powerful rendering that demonstrates the aesthetic nature of the vision.
Buffalo, New York (Kensington and Scajaquada Expressways)
Fans of Frederick Law Olmsted and others are leading an effort to remove the Kensington (Route 33) and Scajaquada (Route 198) Expressways, which cut through two city parks that are part of an Olmsted-designed park system. The Restore Our Community Coalition, the Scajaquada Corridor Coalition, GObike, and the Olmsted Parks Conservancy are among the groups working to restore the parks in keeping with Olmsted’s designs. The state has hired Stantec to complete a regional transportation study, and the first public engagement session for that work is expected to take place in June.
Click here to see the scale of the project.
Join Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper in the conversation and stand up for the Scajaquada Creek. The Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council is holding a virtual public meeting on June 17th from 6-7:30 PM, please register in advance.