Former DOT Engineer Supports Buffalo Boulevard

norabeck's picture

Joe Tocke, former transportation engineer with the NYSDOT, wrote a great opinion piece in the Buffalo News last Friday, Boulevard alternative would give Buffalo a great place.

Tocke supports a single boulevard instead of the combined access road / embanked highway that the State DOT is currently proposing. Calling the State's plan "piecemeal", Tocke explains that the DOT is prolonging Buffalo's wait for a great Outer Harbor.

Tocke writes, "The elevated section of Route 5, the “highway wall,” isolates our waterfront areas and precludes the creation of easily accessible great waterfront places. This wall needs to come down to reunite and revive the spirit of the harbor areas. The release from this bondage will allow for rebirth and new freedom for the people and development on our great waterfront. Its replacement, a regional boulevard, would be a major catalyst in creating a world-class waterfront."

He also points out several attributes of boulevards that help create great places:

• Boulevards are appropriate where there is a need to carry both through and local traffic, where there is good reason for the through traffic to move faster than local traffic and/or where there is real or potential conflict between the two. They have the potential to become special places.

• Boulevards connect, rather than separate, land uses, neighborhoods and districts across a hierarchy street pattern, and have the ability to change and adapt as the area around them changes.

• Boulevards are not inherently more accident prone than ordinarily configured arterial streets. Analysis of data from American and European boulevards does not support the prevailing view that they are.


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