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A Century of Bad Planning Illustrated

Mark Byrnes, a former contributor to WNYMedia.net and current fellow at the Atlantic Cities and graduate student in publications design at the University of Baltimore posts this depressingly eye-opening article comparing the Buffalo of 1902 to the Buffalo of 2011.

It’s a stark depiction of failure and loss; failure to plan, failure to adapt, failure to lead, and loss of population, industry, and wealth.

The Buffalo conundrum illustrated – downtown is unattractive because of all the people and businesses that have left; but people and businesses don’t come downtown because of how unattractive it is.

The problem is how downtown development has taken the path of least resistance when it comes to parking. Businesses have demanded one spot for each commuter, and instead of expanding and modernizing its bank of public parking structures in a planned, targeted, and aesthetically pleasing way, the city has permitted developers to just throw up a surface lot willy-nilly. Surface parking lots are the bane of downtown’s existence and should be disincentivized through a land value tax.