Will The Ghost of Robert Moses Continue To Haunt Us?

This morning an impressive group of urban activists and community leaders came together as the Buffalo Waterfront Coalition to announce their opposition to current NYS Department of Transportation plans for Route 5 and Fuhrman Boulevard. Members of the coalition cried out for The Boulevard Alternative – a plan that would see that section of roadway downgraded to an at-grade boulevard. Among these groups present: The Baird Foundation, Buffalo First, Buffalo Preservation Board, Buffalo Niagara Riverkeeper, Elmwood Village Association, Greater Buffalo Building Owners and Managers Association, Landmark Society of the Niagara Frontier, The League of Women Voters (Buffalo/Niagara), The New Millennium Group of WNY, Partners for a Livable WNY, Preservation Coalition of Erie County, Sierra Club (Niagara Group), and The Wellness Institute of Greater Buffalo.
There was also a healthy contingent of politicians who came to show their support for The Boulevard Alternative. Common Council President, David Franczyk said it best when he commented on this upcoming Halloween and the scary thought of resurrecting the ghost of Robert Moses. Village of Hamburg Board Member Michael Cerrone hit a homerun with his sentiments stating that this plan was outrageously outdated, and that the DOT should know better than to continue to destroy our waterfront with their current plans (Supported by Higgins and Spitzer) and to be announced tomorrow at Dug’s Dive). Council Member Micky Kearns and Michael LoCurto voiced their concerns and disbelief that in this day and age Buffalo is still faced with these types of planning decisions.
All of this on the heels of the Buffalo Common Council’s unanimous decision in favor of the Boulevard Alternative. Other members of the growing faction of boulevard supporters include Harvey Garrett, Councilmember Richard Fontana, Andrea Haxton Lackawanna Councilwoman , Congress for New Urbanism, and Smart Mobility. This podcast is led off by Common Council President, David Franczyk. Do yourself a favor and pay close attention to what Village of Hamburg Board Member Michael Cerrone has to say about the DOT – he hits the nail on the head.

About the author  ⁄ Bill Zimmermann

31 comments
3317
3317

in the political game of rock paper scissors, big bags of cash beat common sense and the common good.

thanks for fighting the good fight, but forgive me if i dont hold my breath. pitch forks and torches, thats how they stormed Frankenstein castle, and for my money- its still the best way to fight city hall.

or, lets just ask bob and mindy rich what we should do. maybe he has a golf buddy in the road construction business. perhaps we could reconstruct the street-scape so that all roads lead to bass pro and the casino....call it the roulette wheel ....or the fish loop? one question, what does DOT stand for? Devour Our Taxes? Dreams Of Tar? Dubiously Obvious Travesty?

3317
3317

in the political game of rock paper scissors, big bags of cash beat common sense and the common good.

thanks for fighting the good fight, but forgive me if i dont hold my breath. pitch forks and torches, thats how they stormed Frankenstein castle, and for my money- its still the best way to fight city hall.

or, lets just ask bob and mindy rich what we should do. maybe he has a golf buddy in the road construction business. perhaps we could reconstruct the street-scape so that all roads lead to bass pro and the casino....call it the roulette wheel ....or the fish loop? one question, what does DOT stand for? Devour Our Taxes? Dreams Of Tar? Dubiously Obvious Travesty?

3900
3900

Thanks for the website Jay.

3900
3900

Great dialog - now lets see come action. Write editorials, call and email your representatives, hell, why not call or email the state. Do what it takes to get your voice and your opinion heard. Why not, Buffalo?

3900
3900

Great dialog - now lets see come action. Write editorials, call and email your representatives, hell, why not call or email the state. Do what it takes to get your voice and your opinion heard. Why not, Buffalo?

431
431

the 2-3 minutes is for the elevated section of Rt5. The skyway would still stand (blvd would start where it ends to Lakawanna line) The skyway removal would be a different phase and still fought for.

But this Blvd should happen. Especially after watching the video on SanFransicco posted earlier in the week. If a city that size than accomplish it with no adverse effects, so can we. Lets me on the cutting edge of cities that are finally coming around to removing these mistakes as they come up for massive needed repairs (be it from age or enviromental catatrophes etc)

So who we call BRO staff?

431
431

the 2-3 minutes is for the elevated section of Rt5. The skyway would still stand (blvd would start where it ends to Lakawanna line) The skyway removal would be a different phase and still fought for.

But this Blvd should happen. Especially after watching the video on SanFransicco posted earlier in the week. If a city that size than accomplish it with no adverse effects, so can we. Lets me on the cutting edge of cities that are finally coming around to removing these mistakes as they come up for massive needed repairs (be it from age or enviromental catatrophes etc)

So who we call BRO staff?

801
801

if the TheNextMayor is correct, are you telling me that the skyway basically exists to save 2-3 minutes of commute time for a few people from Orchard Park & Hamburg? can't they take the 190 (where, every 4-5 years, $30-40 million tax dollars are spent renovating it)? I'm no expert and deferr to the DOT, but, really, can anything be successfully developed while the skyway is up? try sitting under that thing for 5 minutes

683
683

Well they (the NYSDOT and Thruway Authority) backed down and got rid of the tolls in Ferry and Ogden (and soon Lackwanna and Amherst tolls will be relocated as well).

Well when Buffalo united we got the Commercial Slip redug and rewatered and now the development area is huge.....and the potential is enormous (compared to what Albany wanted...fake fake and more fake)

Well when Buffalo united we got almost 300 million from NYPA for the reliscensing.

As screwed up as Buffalo is....when we unite for what is best for the future of our city....we get what we want so its moments like these I am particularly proud. Yes we can get rid of the skyway and get the single boulevard built NOW.

Now if only we could get Buffalo united around saving the Columbus Parkway from the plaza expansion

Now if only we could get Buffalo united about Light Rail extensions

Now if only we could get Buffalo united around a new Convention and Conference Center.

347
347

As in any of these push for participation it would behoove BRO to supply information on who is more importation to actually contact and disseminate the information needed to create an active citizenry. Maybe this is something BRO can setup as an information guide, A go to place for public participation. Instead of searching through the State senate website, the city of buffalo website, the nysdot website, the governor's website. I mean its annoying and inefficient and honestly dissuades people from actually getting involved. (probably done on purpose) Perhaps I am missing something but it drives me insane sometimes ot keep track of this stuff.

347
347

As in any of these push for participation it would behoove BRO to supply information on who is more importation to actually contact and disseminate the information needed to create an active citizenry. Maybe this is something BRO can setup as an information guide, A go to place for public participation. Instead of searching through the State senate website, the city of buffalo website, the nysdot website, the governor's website. I mean its annoying and inefficient and honestly dissuades people from actually getting involved. (probably done on purpose) Perhaps I am missing something but it drives me insane sometimes ot keep track of this stuff.

793
793

Two key points:

1. The Boulevard option is already included in the EIS and deemed "feasible" by the NYSDOT. Minimal delay is expected. (Even if it took a long time, it would still be worth doing the right thing.)

2. The EIS forecasts increased commute times between 90 seconds to 3 1/2 minutes with a boulevard. Not too much to ask considering the trade-off would be a vibrant, accessable waterfront full of destinations and people.

793
793

Two key points:

1. The Boulevard option is already included in the EIS and deemed "feasible" by the NYSDOT. Minimal delay is expected. (Even if it took a long time, it would still be worth doing the right thing.)

2. The EIS forecasts increased commute times between 90 seconds to 3 1/2 minutes with a boulevard. Not too much to ask considering the trade-off would be a vibrant, accessable waterfront full of destinations and people.

2498
2498

Just another ploy to cover up the dangerously polluted waterfront and keep the can of worms buried safely away from any possible liabilities in the future...

497
497

It's not too late to get DOT to change their plans. Especially because they already have a boulevard plan. It's not like this is something completely new. Keep the pressure on.

Someone has to remind Spitzer of his campaign pledge: Day One, Everything changes!

497
497

It's not too late to get DOT to change their plans. Especially because they already have a boulevard plan. It's not like this is something completely new. Keep the pressure on.

Someone has to remind Spitzer of his campaign pledge: Day One, Everything changes!

1035
1035

Tunnel it!

More jobs. More waterfront. Less noise. More controllable air pollution. Did I say more jobs.

Higgins supports the DOT plan? For real? If this is true, we should all be calling his office tomorrow.

1035
1035

Tunnel it!

More jobs. More waterfront. Less noise. More controllable air pollution. Did I say more jobs.

Higgins supports the DOT plan? For real? If this is true, we should all be calling his office tomorrow.

2318
2318

Glad to see the support from so many groups. Hopefully they also show up when the DOT tries to annouce their plans tomorrow. It will be a big push but I know that it can be done. If we did it for the west side connector oh so long ago, we should be able to do it for this.

2318
2318

Glad to see the support from so many groups. Hopefully they also show up when the DOT tries to annouce their plans tomorrow. It will be a big push but I know that it can be done. If we did it for the west side connector oh so long ago, we should be able to do it for this.

987
987

If the NYSDOT is in fact not working in the citizens interests then they have become tryants and are not acting as public employees who are paid to act on behalf of the citizenry to do the best job they can in the interests of the citizens. Rather they are dictators weilding their power against the peoples vision for th future. Did the DOT think about the impact their choosen project would have on community efforts to revitalize downtown and the waterfront? First I feel they are abusing their powers if they dont choose the citizens vision and second I feel they are not respecting others efforts by acting independently and arrogantly if I may say. If they arent pursuing the best design and construction of the concept the citizens want in Buffalo then they arent fulfilling their duties as public servants! The at grade plan addresses ship traffic on the Buffalo River doesnt it? Whats the problem?

3770
3770

I encourageall interested in learning more about boulevards to take a look at a book by Jacobs, Macdonald and Rofe called, appropriately, "The Bouevard Book." I read it a couple of years ago. It addresses the various configurations of various boulevards throughout the world. The book explains the idea that bouelvards are intended to accommodate multiple modes of transportation, not just auto. That they can effectively handle large volumes of pass-through traffic, while accommodating local traffic at the same time.

Before reading the book, I didn't have much appreciation for boulevards and thought they were merely wide streets with green medians in the center. I was wrong. Different bouevards have different configurations to meet their traffic needs. I think a boulevard approach is appropriate for not only Route 5, but should also be seriously considered for the I-190 and Rte. 33. Simply put, limited access highways are barriers and have no place in well-connected and efficient urban communities.

3770
3770

I encourageall interested in learning more about boulevards to take a look at a book by Jacobs, Macdonald and Rofe called, appropriately, "The Bouevard Book." I read it a couple of years ago. It addresses the various configurations of various boulevards throughout the world. The book explains the idea that bouelvards are intended to accommodate multiple modes of transportation, not just auto. That they can effectively handle large volumes of pass-through traffic, while accommodating local traffic at the same time.

Before reading the book, I didn't have much appreciation for boulevards and thought they were merely wide streets with green medians in the center. I was wrong. Different bouevards have different configurations to meet their traffic needs. I think a boulevard approach is appropriate for not only Route 5, but should also be seriously considered for the I-190 and Rte. 33. Simply put, limited access highways are barriers and have no place in well-connected and efficient urban communities.

431
431

In the past they have backed down on the west side arterial etc. It can be done again. Speak-up to your reps everyone. These rebuilds only come up so often. Seize this opportunity for the best now, or wait another 50+ years for another opportunity to correct it.

431
431

In the past they have backed down on the west side arterial etc. It can be done again. Speak-up to your reps everyone. These rebuilds only come up so often. Seize this opportunity for the best now, or wait another 50+ years for another opportunity to correct it.

2001
2001

Is it realistic to think the DOT is going to back down on this?

800
800

No worries, Justin, the boulevard would be great, too.

2181
2181

*atgrade, not at great.

2181
2181

The coalition of members in the podcast are advocating for NYSDOT to implement one of the two other alternatives that were developed during the planning process. The Boulevard alternative, of which the coalition is supporting, would remove the elevated highway from the waterfront and replace it with an at great boulevard. The current plan calls for retaining the current elevated section of Route 5 and adding an additional public access street running parallel to it and the waters edge- thus gobbling up more precious waterfront land.

763
763

Not sure I fully understand. DOT is planning to redo rt.5? Where can I see what it looks like? Where/what is the alternative? Who and how does the right decision get made? I appreciate what seems to be intelligent leadership by those in the podcast, but outside of the grandstanding what's the plan to change DOT's project design?

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