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Ryan, LoCurto Seek Public Input on Scajaquada Corridor

Here is a press release issued by Assemblyman Sean Ryan’s office today:

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BUFFALO – Today, June 14, 2013, New York State Assemblyman Sean Ryan discussed the New York State Department of Transportation’s (DOT) latest plan to redesign the Scajaquada Corridor, which runs through Buffalo’s Delaware Park. For the past few years, the DOT has been working on a plan to improve the corridor and create a more pedestrian friendly, parkway focused design. The DOT recently released updated plans for changes to the Scajaquada expressway and corridor, and many have noted that the latest version of plans fall short of the original goals. Ryan is seeking public comment on the latest plans and has announced a community meeting to discuss the issue. The meeting will take place on June 26th at 5pm, at the West Room of the Bulger Communications Center on the campus of Buffalo State College.

Ryan has posted a form on his website which will allow people to submit their views on the latest proposed plans for the Scajaquada corridor. Ideas and comments can be submitted by visiting Ryan’s website here. All ideas submitted through Ryan’s website will be incorporated into a single document. This collection of information will be shared with the public at the upcoming community meeting, and shared with the Department of Transportation.

The Environmental Impact Statement for the project states two main goals. First, to “Bring this transportation facility more into harmony with the community character and natural environment,” and second, to “Improve the visual and functional connectivity between the various features and resources in the adjacent area for motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians.” The most recent plans announced by the DOT show that they are looking to move forward with what is known as “Alternative 2A”. This alternative is one of five that have been put together by the DOT. Many have noted that the latest proposal, “Alternative 2A”, does not accomplish the necessary “downgrade” that the community has been seeking. Most notably, “Alternative 2A” would allow for the speed limit to be set at 40mph, rather than what has been most suggested, 30mph. The Olmsted Park Master Plan adopted what is known as the Expanded Project Proposal (EPP) back in 2006. This proposal showed the true vision of the community, and made it clear that the community wanted the Scajaquada Corridor to be downgraded, and the speed limit to be reduced to 30mph. The latest proposal does not fit with that goal.

“Despite previous input from the public, the DOT’s latest plan does not incorporate the pedestrian friendly changes, and parkway designs that the community has been talking about for many years,” said Assemblyman Ryan. “Their latest proposal is certainly aesthetically pleasing, but it does not fulfill the downgrade that has been the goal for years. I am looking to hear what the community thinks of this latest plan, and what they think should be done to improve the 198. I encourage anyone who is interested to visit my website where they can submit their ideas and comments, and I also encourage the community to attend the upcoming meeting. I plan on discussing all the information that is submitted with the DOT. Hopefully they will be receptive to the needs of the community, and realize how important it is to have a parkway that is both pedestrian friendly, and moves traffic efficiently.”

Standing near the 198 at Delaware Park, Ryan was joined by Buffalo Common Councilmember Michael LoCurto, who also urged the DOT to listen to the community’s ideas and concerns.

“It is vital that the Department of Transportation plan for the Scajaquada expressway considers the views of pedestrians and park-goers, and honors the Olmsted legacy,” said Councilmember LoCurto.

Previous information presented by the DOT to the identified stakeholders in the community about the Scajaquada corridor can be found here.