Last month we held an engaging community discussion on the future of our urban freeways and how to reconnect communities through highway removal. We learned from Mayor of Niagara Falls, Paul Dyster, how the removal of the Robert Moses Parkway is already having a positive impact on the community. We also learned from City Planner, Jason Haremza of Rochester, how the importance of removing the Inner Loop in order to reconnect and create new community space for Rochester.
Our three other panelists, Stephanie Barber Geter (ROCC), Mary Ann Kedron (BRRA), and Brian Dold (SSC), represented Buffalo and multiple communities along the Scajaquada Corridor. Each of the spoke to the detriment the 33 and 198 highways have caused (and continue to cause) to Buffalo, from ripping neighborhoods in half to contributing to severe urban sprawl.
Don’t let people tell you that transportation and infrastructure that’s unnecessary is somehow the key to economic development—sometimes getting rid of transportation infrastructure and showing a vision is the key.
They also shared their inspiring vision of the future. Mary Ann Kendron spoke to the positive economic impacts and investments a reconnected corridor would create. Brian Dold shared the rich history of the Olmsted Park system and its importance of creating a tight-knit and proud community system. Stephanie Barber Geter addressed the importance of reconnecting neighborhoods and the opportunity to replace blighted properties and vacant spaces with thriving local business.
We want to thank everyone who attended, shared their voice, and continue to support our movement to make Buffalo and the Scajaquada Corridor stronger. We’d like to especially thank the Burchfield Penney Art Center for hosting the event and Council Member David Rivera for sponsoring the event. And finally, thank you to our wonderful moderator, Stephanie Cole Adams.
If you want to continue to stay involved, please take our survey. When we meet with politicians and planners moving forward, we want to make sure the community vision is well documented and well understood.
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