The Scajaquada Corridor Coalition met today at the Point of the Meadow in Delaware Park to urge NYSDOT to communicate their plans for the continued calming of the 198.
NYSDOT originally stated that all short-term modifications, including the installation of three crosswalks, would be completed by August 31, 2015. To date, lane width has been reduced and stop signs have been installed at on-ramps to the expressway, but crosswalk installation has not yet been initiated.
NYSDOT also announced on July 6 that long-term plans for the Scajaquada Corridor will be presented at a public meeting in the City of Buffalo within weeks. No such meeting has yet to be held though a tentative date of September 16, 2015, has been named by NYSDOT.
Speaking on behalf of the SCC, Justin Booth urged NYSDOT to communicate their plans for the expressway.
Booth also encouraged the inclusion of the community’s vision in long-term planning as community concerns have historically been ignored. Residents of the area and members of the SCC have expressed for more than a decade their vision of calming the Scajaquada in order to increase the safety of residents, cyclists, and pedestrians; reduce congestion and noise levels; and reconnect the historic Delaware Park.
“Let’s return to a roadway in harmony with the community,” stated Brian Dold, Outreach and Advocacy Advisor for the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy.
Amber Small, Executive Director of the Parkside Community Association, agreed.
“We’re not just a neighborhood of residents; we are a neighborhood of people who visit the park, people who visit the zoo. And we want to make sure we have a safe and positive experience for everyone,” said Small.
“The work we are talking about to the Scajaquada Expressway is not to stop cars from driving down this roadway; it’s to make sure that they do it in a safer fashion so that all park visitors, all neighborhood residents, and everyone who drives through the community can do so in a safe way.”
Community representative and professional architect Michael DeLuca also expressed his support for including the community’s vision in future Scajaquada planning.
“We want people to enjoy this part of the community; not just fly through it,” said DeLuca.
The SCC has asked for information from NYSDOT on future plans to no avail. Communications with NYSDOT is included here: SCC Letters to NYSDOT.
The 2005 community vision of the Scajaquada is here: 2005 EPP Long Term Design