BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — GObike wrapped up their pilot project addressing a lack of accessibility at the intersection of Parkside and Linden avenues late last month. While renovations are still a year away, the city placed concrete bollards in the area for the time being, a decision neighbors aren’t too happy about.
“Our voices are not being heard. When you attend a two-hour meeting with the city and you have an opportunity to ask questions, then four days later, giant boulders are planted in the middle of an intersection with no prior warning. That’s not acceptable and that’s not how the democratic process works,” said resident Josephine Zagarella.
A spokesperson from GObike says they are “not involved with the department of public works current design” and that their work concluded when they submitted the report, outlining changes that could be made to make the intersection more accessible. So, what spurred the city to place these barriers?
“We wanted to put a safer installation through as an interim measure to bridge from now, until we start the permanent construction. From a protection standpoint we have also placed those concrete delineations, those vertical separators for those individuals walking up to and crossing that intersection as an added safety measure,” said Nate Marton, Commissioner of City Public Works, Parks and Streets.
Residents are also concerned about winter conditions and protection for both drivers and pedestrians.
“This intersection is extremely slippery, it’s at a slope and if you make a mistake, you’re going to hit a boulder and that is not what we want for people,” continued Zagarella.
Council member Joel Feroleto’s office coordinated community outreach during this project, however in a statement he says he doesn’t think “putting cement bollards in the street is safe,’ while the DPW thinks it’s necessary.
“We are not providing for that fast slip lane turn where you can ignore the stoplight, where you can ignore traffic coming the other direction and make a hard right, because that’s the protection that we want to have for the pedestrians who also are going to use that intersection,” concluded Mortan.
According to Marton the city has funding in place for a permanent reconstruction of the intersection in 2025, but in the interim, these bollards are here to stay.