Officials to make changes following Canalside traffic nightmare

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) —  The world’s largest rubber duck was a huge hit. Officials say it’s the most popular attraction to ever come to Canalside. But the big crowds caused a traffic nightmare at the waterfront.

“Just coming in there were cars everywhere and people were beeping and it was like a madhouse,” said Jeana Bock of Buffalo.

“When we were out on the boat you could see the Niagara section of the thruway it was just jammed up bumper to bumper traffic totally gridlocked nobody was moving,” said Mary Casella of Tonawanda.

Mary Casella is one of the lucky ones who made it to Canalside early enough to see the world’s largest rubber duck and bypass traffic that kept cars tied up for hours.

“I think it’s great for the city but they have to figure out something to do with parking and the roads because I don’t know if it can handle that many people,” said Casella.

Officials say they did anticipate the duck would attract a large crowd but say they had no idea that would mean upwards of 100 thousand people.

“We need to do a better job communicating to the public about the parking that is available. When you’re east of Main Street in the Cobblestone District we’ve got lots of surface parking lots that are less than a block away that people just aren’t aware of,” said Sam Hoyt, Empire State Development Regional President.

Hoyt says they need to work on encouraging people to take public transit and ride their bikes. He also says the State Department of Transportation will working on improving signage that directs people to Canalside, to encourage traffic to spread out.

“There are streets that are one lane in and out and we need to work with the Buffalo Police Department to figure out disaster emergency situations,” said Hoyt.

Buffalo Police say there are contingency plans in place in case of an emergency at Canalside.

Hoyt says that after every event at Canalside an evaluation is done to look for ways to improve things. Mayor Brown met with Buffalo Police today to review the matter.

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