BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — A lot has changed here on the 600 block of Main Street in Buffalo in just a week. Cars are now a common sight driving up and down the street and businesses are already benefiting.
Mike Greco is the executive chef at Bijou Grille in the Theater District. He said, “We’ve seen a little bit of an impact, the weather isn’t helping but we’ve seen a lot more traffic coming downtown than we’ve ever seen because the street has never been open before.”
It took 35 years and $8 million to make the change; Michael Mulley, the owner of the Queen City Gallery in the Market Arcade building, says drivers are still figuring out that they’re allowed on the street.
“It’s a bit of a shock, it hasn’t really sunk in it’s amazing you can come down on a Friday night and there’s actually places to park because I don’t think it’s caught on yet with people that you can do that,” said Mulley.
The project was delayed as the NFTA trained its drivers to safely share the road with cars and so far there haven’t been any major reported issues.
Greco said, “It’s kind of neat, I’ve been here for almost 25 years so to see traffic when you’re used to seeing a car go down and you’re like no you’re not supposed to be down her now you’re like another car that’s cool.”
“It’s just nice to be able to drive on our own main street, imagine that,” said Mulley.
Work is now being done to do the same to the 500 block. The city lost state funding for the rest of the road, so it’s unclear when the full road will be open to traffic.