BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Traffic will soon be stopped with the press of a button along Route 198.
By the end of November, the Department of Transportation plans to remove all of the silver guide rails they just installed along the former Scajacuada Expressway and replace them with different guide rails that are still steel but look more like wood.
Also this fall, two cross walks will be installed; One near the tennis courts at Delaware Avenue and one near the Albright Knox Art Gallery. Pedestrians will be able to press a button activating a traffic signal to stop traffic on the Scajaquada.
“I think it’s gonna be a mistake” said Buffalo Resident Robert Niemiec who showed up for a public information meeting about the changes. “They seem to be ramrodding these crosswalks that are pedestrian activated down our throats and I don’t feel that’s right.”
Jeanine Purcell also came to see the designs that were on display at the Frederick Olmsted School in Buffalo Wednesday evening.. She points out that there are already places for pedestrians to go over or under the Scajaquada more safely than crossing it. “I don’t know if people are really going to recognize it or use it to the extent that to warrant the expense so I don’t know yet.”
Buffalo Resident Glenn Luba is also skeptical. “The speed on the Scajaquada, even though it’s posted thirty, is not being respected.”
But Mike DeLuca of the Scajaquada Corrider Coaltion says the reason no one’s abiding the 30 mile and hour speed limit is because the Scajaquada needs more traffic calming measures. “Gateways at both ends, crosswalks, start designing the road so that it’s meant to be like a thirty mile per hour road.”
While the crosswalks attracted a lot of the attention, the purpose of Wednesday’s public information session was for the Department of Transporation to gather public input about which of ten different long term alternatives would work best for the Scajaquada. A final decision will not be made until 2017 according to NY State Department of Transportation Public Information Officer, Susan Surdej. “It is a process, it is a long process but we really want to encourage people to participate in the process.”
Members of the public can see the alternatives and give their input on line through a special DOT website for the Scajaquada Corridor.