BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — Two Buffalo Common Councilmembers want Gov. Andrew Cuomo to commission a redesign of State Route 198–the Scajaquada Expressway–the same as he did recently in the Skyway Corridor Competition.
Delaware District Councilman Joel Feroleto and North District Councilman Joe Golombek are introducing a resolution asking the governor to hold a contest that would lead to the redesign of Route 198 and its junction with the Kensington Expressway (State Route 33).
Feroleto said the resolution also calls for raising the Scajaquada’s speed limit from 30 miles an hour to 40 mph, “We know a lot of people have strong positions about the Kensington, and Humboldt Parkway being divided. We wanted to include that, so we are asking the state to look at the whole thing instead of just one portion near Delaware Park.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered the speed limit along the Scajaquada Expressway, dropped from 50 to 30 miles an hour following a tragic accident that took the life of a young child in Delaware Park four years ago.
“That was a very unfortunate accident,” Feroleto said, “and has nothing to do with the speed limit.”
Mayor Byron Brown agrees with raising the speed limit, except in Delaware Park because drivers are avoiding the lower speed limit on Route 198, causing traffic to spill into the Parkside neighborhood.
“We don’t want to see additional traffic in residential neighborhoods that can present a danger to children and families in those neighborhoods.”
When state highway officials built the Kensington Expressway years ago, it cut right through what was then the Humboldt Park neighborhood.
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is working on a plan to try to reconnect Delaware Park with what is now Martin Luther King, Jr., Park and Conservancy Executive Director Stephanie Crockatt said they would welcome the state’s intervention.
“We would like to make sure that access to parks is equitable and inclusive, and that means any type of transportation. So whether that is walking, biking, jogging, however it is, we want to make sure that people can enjoy their parks.”
Brian Dold, the Director of Planning and Advocacy for the Conservancy said, “We think it is really not about speed, it is really about doing the project right and making sure that we are re-connecting our neighborhoods.”
Councilmembers Feroleto and Golombek have fine-tuned their two-page resolution, and expect it to go to the Council floor, next Tuesday October 1 for a vote. They are confident the resolution will be approved, although it would not be binding on the city or the state.