If I Had a Billion Dollars: Shrink the City
by Geoff Kelly - posted 11:50 am, April 24, 2010
Our Best of Buffalo poll this year included an essay question: How would you invest a billion dollars in the welfare of Western New York? We’re posting an answer every day until we run out of good answers:
Joseph Logue writes:
First of all, the whole premise epitomizes where Buffalo has gone wrong. Note how you have to leave town to make a billion. I have not lived in Buffalo for twenty years and it breaks my heart every time I’m invited to join some Facebook group or another in an effort to save a building or improve civic life with absolutely zero results. That said, with a billion burning a hole in my pocket I would work towards unincorporating those vast swaths of Buffalo that are decimated — no homes, no businesses. Condense its forty square miles to half that size, and reward those who stay in Buffalo and work towards its betterment with a more vibrant and dynamic city. Main St (from UB to downtown and its environs) needs a thorough sprucing up — the whole stretch is shabby beyond belief. Forget lofts and condos, I’d make downtown the site of the next Bills’ stadium, work toward a new bridge to Canada (seriously, what is taking you so long?), and close the useless subway. All those great old buildings need to be reused, so foster a tech boom — make the entire city WiFi starting with downtown. Start a film festival in October, surely the loveliest time of year. I wonder, though, if a billions is enough.