(Buffalo, N.Y.) – The state Department of Transportation announced, last week, plans to make major changes to the Scajaquada Parkway, which could cost more than $100 million.
DOT Commissioner Mathew Driscoll told an audience of a few hundred, during a public hearing at SUNY Buffalo State Wednesday, the state plans to permanently change the parkway from a high speed expressway to a slower moving boulevard.
Coming up Monday (2/15) at 9 p.m. on the Buffalo Review on 91.3 WBNY-FM, we will discuss the proposed changes and how they might affect the area.
Traffic on the Scajaquada has been reduced from 50 mph to 30 mph, since late May 2015, after a 3-year-old boy was killed by a car that jumped the curb and hit him in Delaware Park.
“Building the expressway was a historic mistake,” said Assemblyman Sean Ryan. “It wouldn’t be built today.”
More than 50,000 cars and trucks use the parkway daily, according to the DOT.
Driscoll said a number of short-term changes would be seen by spring, including adding gateway signs and rumble strips, lowering speed signs and narrowing lanes.
The DOT also plans to begin an environmental impact study to explore the possibility of more permanent changes, such as adding a tree-lined median or raised crosswalks.
Another public meeting on the matter is planned for May and a final decision on the project is expected by December, according to Driscoll.
He said the DOT hopes to have a contract for the work in place by 2017 and construction could begin as soon as 2018.
Our guests Monday will include:
Joseph Popiolkowski, a reporter from the Buffalo News, who has written several articles about the issue and attended the public information meeting.
Amber Small, executive director of the Parkside Community Association, which is the largest membership-based community association in the city of Buffalo. The group seeks to make the Parkside neighborhood a safe and secure place for the community.
Chuck Banas, a member of the grass roots group Partners for a Liveable Western New York, who is an engineer and consultant with experience in city planning. He’s been involved in the discussion about the Scajaquada Parkway for roughly 15 years.
* Producer Madison Marquardt contributed to this report.