BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo residents walking in Delaware Park Thursday morning had mixed reactions when they heard about a plan to transform Route 198 or Scajaquada Expressway. The plan calls for a tree-lined grassy median, more bike and pedestrian paths and the speed limit would be reduced from 50mph to 40mph. There would still be two lanes of traffic in each direction.
Michael Weekes said, “It might be a good thing to make us stop and slow down a little bit and make us smell the coffee.”
Rich Chamberlin has some concerns about traffic flow.
“I already see the traffic in the morning and the afternoon. Traffic is down to 10 miles per hour already. I’m not sure what would happen, it might turn into a parking lot after a while,” said Chamberlin.
The Scajaquada runs right by Albright Knox and Buffalo State College. Susan Surdej, State Department of Transportation spokesperson, says transforming it to a slower greener boulevard would go better with its surroundings.
“We want to double the amount of pathways and bike-ways and actually provide connectivity all the way around on both sides. We want to add 15 new crossings so pedestrians can get from one side to the other ,” said Surdej.
People walking in Delaware Park say they don’t feel safe crossing Route 198 and think more crosswalks are needed in some spots.
Chamberlin said he sees college students dodging traffic all the time.
Terry Wideman said, “I think what they are trying to implant would be greater for this area and for our community.”
There have been 25 meetings about this plan since 2009. There’s another public meeting in May.
The plan still needs to be approved, funded and built. It’s unclear how long that could take.