The Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) presented ideas for reimagining the Scajaquada Corridor last night to a packed public meeting at Buffalo State’s Alumni and Visitor Center. Options range from minor changes to the existing infrastructure to complete removal of the highway from the I-190 to the Kensington Expressway.
The GBNRTC has taken over the lead for studying options for the corridor. Their approach is different from the previous NYS Department of Transportation’s “top down” approach. The current process is being driven by data and community dialogue creating a transparent decision-making process.
The scenarios for “Region Central” have been developed over 12 months of research, planning, community outreach, and analysis and represent a range of possibilities for the future of mobility in the Scajaquada Corridor. One key finding was that today, only eight percent of vehicles at the east end of the Expressway travel all the way to the west end, meaning that the Expressway is primarily used as a means of accessing I-190 and SR-33.
The Planning Framework includes: Effective local and regional mobility; replenished parks, parkways, waterways, and place; and, inclusive economic development.
Below are the four scenarios presented.
The present function of the Expressway corridor is maintained. Addresses safety through design changes and creates additional multimodal connectivity across Region Central. This option keeps sub-regional trips on the Expressway rather than on other Region Central roadways.
Regional access needs are balanced with at-grade character by replacing the Expressway with an at-grade, tree lined boulevard. This option maintains neighborhood roadway access to the regional transportation network and creates opportunities for at-grade crossings and local access. More crossings disperse north/south activity
This option retains portions of the Scajaquada to provide connections from Region Central to the regional transportation network (I-190 and 33). It also removes the expressway within primary park areas and maintains neighborhood roadway access to the regional transportation network. Enhanced vehicle accommodations would be constructed on Elmwood Avenue going north/ south and Amherst Street and Delavan Avenue going east/west.
This option removes the Expressway throughout Region Central. The local street network accommodates east/west regional movement. Dedicated multimodal opportunities are added to cross the creek for north/ south travel. Enhanced east/west vehicle accommodations would be constructed on Amherst Street, Forest Avenue, and Delavan Avenue.
Future opportunities for the public to give input during the process will include public meetings, a community survey, and neighborhood events and workshops. GBNRTC will also be soliciting input through the project website.