The members of the Scajaquada Corridor Coalition (SCC) are unified in their support and excitement around the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council’s proposed plans for Region Central and the Scajaquada Corridor. The preferred design scenario for the Route 198, which was released publicly last night, is the product of years of productive community engagement and collaboration, and demonstrates a unique model for effective planning and infrastructure investment.

The SCC has been very encouraged by the planning process which has been undertaken by the GBNRTC over the last year and a half for Region Central and Route 198. We are in strong support of the recommendations and very excited by the opportunities for reconnecting communities and enhancing access to various environmental and cultural assets along the corridor made possible by this preferred mobility scenario recommended at the public meeting. The completion of this planning effort, which has yielded a vision providing the opportunity to undo the decades of damage to the surrounding neighborhoods and heal the divisions in our community, is a critical step in turning this vision into a reality. We look forward to supporting our elected leaders in this transformational project and getting shovels in the ground to tear down the barriers and rebuild the community of the Scajaquada Corridor.

The following are supporting statements from stakeholders of the SCC

Barbara Rowe of Vision Niagara

“How fortunate that NYS appointed GBNRTC in this process of carefully examining the impact of Rte. 198 on our region. The resulting mobility recommendations uphold what we know will improve the health and wealth of our community. Vision Niagara is eager to see this move forward so that our generation and future generations enjoy reclaimed parks, restored waterways, and economic opportunities. It can’t happen soon enough!”

Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo

“GObike stands in strong support of the preferred mobility scenario presented by GBNRTC. Cities across the country are reclaiming their green spaces, protecting their natural resources, and reconnecting the neighborhoods that urban highways have damaged. We are thrilled for the future of the adjacent colleges and institutions, businesses and households that may see a healthy, thriving Scajaquada Creek, a reconnected street grid, and our world-class Delaware Park made whole once again. These designs would make it easier and safer to walk, ride, roll, or use transit on the adjacent streets and roads. That will contribute to greater public health, resilience in the face of major storms, and more economic growth for local businesses where those on foot or on bike statistically spend more than those who drive. This plan would contribute to the ongoing modernization of our city and region and secure a healthier future for our children.”

Jill Jedlicka, Executive Director of Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper

“Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper has been actively engaged with the SCC in the 198 redesign process for many years, and we are extremely supportive of and inspired by the preferred scenario produced by GBNRTC. If this concept can become a reality, it will be a win for everyone. This preferred scenario meaningfully incorporates quality of life improvements throughout the corridor, including public access, neighborhood connections, and environmental restoration. The preferred scenario respects the values put forth by community partners and it advances a water-centric vision of a restored Creek system that once again is the centerpiece of a healthy and vibrant Scajaquada corridor. The future of Scajaquada Creek, including any potential for its recovery and rehabilitation, is directly linked to the decisions and actions that lay ahead as part of the design and environmental review process. Therefore, Waterkeeper is committed to continuing our positive and collaborative working relationship with community partners, the GBNRTC and the State of New York in this effort. We are hopeful that the community and our elected leaders will embrace the goals of this scenario and help champion and accelerate the next steps towards implementation.”

Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy

“The intensive 18-month planning effort undertaken by GBNRTC's Region Central initiative has been remarkable, and the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is exceedingly grateful for the work that has gone into it. The Conservancy is encouraged by the progress and proud to be part of the SCC and this collaborative public process. The Conservancy is in support of the preferred mobility scenario recommended and believes that along with further planning and future design recommendations, we can bring a restored vision of corridor connectivity for our citizens, greenspaces, and city. Our historic Olmsted park system and the surrounding communities have suffered since these expressway divides occurred, and we are grateful we can now begin to focus on restoration. We look forward to the next phase in restoring Olmsted's design intent for quality of life, social and environmental justice, and equitable park access for all people.”

Chris Murawski, Executive Director of Clean Air Coalition

“The Clean Air Coalition of Western New York strongly supports the preferred scenario presented by the GBNRTC. We applaud the reduction of air emissions from vehicles that could happen if this vision comes to fruition. By focusing on the transportation needs of the corridor for all users, not just fixating on moving vehicles, we can start to plan for a Climate Smart future. We look forward to following the future phases of this project to ensure that those most affected by the harm of this urban highway benefit the most from the restoration of the corridor.”

Bradley Bethel of Restore Our Community Coalition

“GBNRTC has made tremendous progress for the Scajaquada Corridor in the past several years by putting environmental restoration at the forefront of this project. We look forward to bringing The Fruit Belt, MLK Park, Hamlin Park, Delaware Park, Parkside, and Black Rock together through a comprehensively reconfigured corridor. As we continue to do our part by bringing the green back to Humboldt Parkway, we at ROCC support ongoing efforts to help the community overcome misguided planning of the post-World War II era, and to bring the City of Good Neighbors into the 21st Century.”

Susan Cholewa, President of the Grant-Amherst Business Association

“The Grant-Amherst Business Association is proud to have represented our business community as we have participated with the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council in the project known as “Region Central”. This project included community input, examination of current real-time data and a comprehensive look at community needs. The GBNRTC was tasked not merely with evaluating current automotive needs but pedestrian and bicycle options as well. The process was also designed to evaluate various socio-economic factors which will insure the benefit of our neighborhood. As an organization, we support the process and will continue to advance the interests of our neighborhood.”

Derik Kane, President of the Congress for New Urbanism-WNY Chapter

“The CNU WNY chapter is in strong support of the preferred mobility scenario presented by GBNRTC. Throughout this study our organization was pleased with the high quality community engagement and for a lead agency which finally accepted the communities desire for conversion of this existing high-speed roadway into a safer, more pedestrian-friendly route. This project would not only be a major improvement for our community, but would serve as a precedent to be carried out throughout the entire nation.”

Susan Udin, Executive Committee member of the Parkside Community Association

“The Parkside Community Association is eager to see continuing progress on correcting the planning errors that divided the Buffalo Olmsted parks by Route 198 and that destroyed the verdant oasis that was Humboldt Parkway. We support corrections that will restore the parks’ integrity and that will improve the safety of our communities.”

Mary Ann Kedron, Ph.D., Founder, BRRAlliance Inc

“The BRRAlliance is happy to have represented our community as we have worked through this long and detailed process. The process included community input, real time data and a true look at the community needs. It will serve as a model of "how to get things right” when looking to include people and not just cars. We respect the process and will continue to champion for the best economic and community-oriented outcomes as the process continues. It is time to get shovels in the ground as the future of our community is at stake.”