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Major Progress on The Slow Streets Program

Now that the School Zone Speed Camera Program has ended, the City has come up with some instrumental ways to implement sensible traffic calming measures in numerous neighborhoods where speeding is a problem.

It’s called The Slow Streets Program, which was first unveiled in 2019 by the Department of Public Works. At the time, residents were asked to fill out applications that had to be submitted along with signatures showing sufficient neighbor support, along with boundaries of the proposed area. Instead of doing one-off streets, the City decided that it would be more prudent to implement traffic calming measures – such as speed humps – on at least two parallel streets (for example), so that motorists would not avoid one street, just to speed down another.

The traffic calming initiative proved to be very effective. Unfortunately, at the time, only 5 or six streets were accepted into the program, while 51 streets were submitted by residents.

The speed humps are permanent asphalt embedded into the road, and are designed so that plows can ride up and over with no issue.

I spoke to Delaware District Councilperson Joel Feroleto who told me that it was Senator Tim Kennedy – Chair of the Senate Transportation Committee – who was able to allocate an additional $7 million for infrastructure in this latest round. Those funds have been administered to the Department of Public Works, which means that all 51 streets that initially applied will be granted some sort of traffic calming measure.

“It’s a great example of how a State Senator can champion a city,” said Feroleto. “This infrastructure will make our neighborhoods safer.”

Residents that filled out the applications were provided a three-question survey pertaining to the speed humps.

  1. Yes, we want them
  2. No, we don’t want them – we want something else
  3. Please provide us with additional information

The residents that asked for the speed humps will be getting them this fall. As for the residents that checked the ‘no’ box, they were given additional choices to consider, such as bumpouts, pinch points, and striping. Officials from the Department of Public Works are meeting with the neighbors that said “no” or “we want additional information” to figure out the best alternatives for their streets. Those “yet to be determined” traffic calming measures (that could still include speed humps, if residents ultimately opt for them) will be implemented in the spring of 2022.

^ If you or a neighbor applied to the Slow Streets program in 2019, your neighborhood zone will be shown on the applicant map above.

“It’s not a ‘one size fits all’ approach,” said Feroleto. “Each neighborhood is different. What they are all trying to combat are the speeders who tear down their streets, causing dangerous situations. There are different options available. It’s important that we keep ur neighborhoods as safe as possible, and this is a terrific program that allows residents to pick and choose the permanent traffic calming measures that are best for them.”

As for the next round of streets (beyond the original 51) that are looking to address traffic calming measures, applications for 2022 are due Monday, November 15th, 2021. Click here for the application.

Lead image courtesy City of Buffalo

Written by queenseyes


Newell Nussbaumer is 'queenseyes' - Eyes of the Queen City and Founder of Buffalo Rising. Co-founder Elmwood Avenue Festival of the Arts. Co-founder Powder Keg Festival that built the world's largest ice maze (Guinness Book of World Records). Instigator behind Emerald Beach at the Erie Basin Marina. Co-created Flurrious! winter festival. Co-creator of Rusty Chain Beer. Instigator behind Saturday Artisan Market (SAM) at Canalside, Buffalo Porchfest, and Paint vs. Paint. Founder of The Peddler retro and vintage market on Elmwood. Instigator behind Liberty Hound @ Canalside. Throws The Witches Ball at Statler City, the Hertel Alley Street Art Festival, and The Flutterby Festival.

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