BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) - The Broadway Market will be bustling with activity as we move closer to Easter this coming weekend. But as always, increased attention at the market also has visitors taking note of the area surrounding the landmark.
The Broadway-Fillmore neighborhood is no stranger to urban blight, which visitors see as they stroll into the market. But boarded up homes and empty businesses aren't enough to stop this Easter tradition.
Bonnie Dahl said, "From the time I was an infant, my parents and grandmother would bring me down and we had a wonderful time."
Dahl can remember the market in its heyday and she's been around long enough to witness what's become of the Broadway Market.
"To be honest, we live in Williamsville and it's a long trek for the few number of vendors that are here," Dahl said.
It isn't just a lack of vendors post-holiday rush that may keep business at bay, but the neighborhood, too. It's full of blight and danger, according to Mary Notartomas, who drove in from Depew.
"I find it a little scary," she said. "Not too bad during the day, but once I see it getting dark, I would want to get out."
For years politicians and lawmakers have been promising change for this neighborhood, but years have gone by and homes remain boarded up and land remains vacant, waiting for something - anything - to happen.
Fillmore District Councilman David Franczyk says city government can't get out of its own way to make necessary improvements.
"I had a press conference here two years ago and said the city needs to get out of the market swing and let the market be the market," Franczyk said.
Two years later, there's no difference. Franczyk said, "Yeah, that's right, and I would urge them to move a lot more quickly."
City spokesman, Mike Degeorge, told News 4, millions of dollars have been spent on improvements in and around the Broadway Market. According to Degeorge, that money has been spent on demolition of vacant properties, clean up and infrastructure improvements. He says there is no major crime in that area.
But during Easter, the draw of the market speaks for itself. The establishment has withstood the test of time and always sees a major influx during its busiest season.
Franczyk believes there is no any reason the market can't be a year-round destination.
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