This report explores the opportunity to provide access to Buffalo’s Outer Harbor with a new grade-level lift bridge and multi-modal boulevard. Poor access to the Outer Harbor is currently stifling waterfront redevelopment because of obstruction by the Skyway Bridge, a grade-separated route along the waterfront, and its emphasis on through traffic at the expense of local circulation. The report proposes the development of traditional urban street networks with dense urban networks and greater options for access.
Roads and streets are clearly the primary form of movement in our communities. Whether through the car, the bus or even a walk or bike ride, we use our roads and streets to get where we want to go. It is easy then to understand how many of our roads have evolved into super thoroughfares that aim to move us to our destinations quickly, at the expense of all other factors.
But our roads and streets do something else fundamentally important that when ignored leads to extreme unsustainability. They are the interwoven fabric that connects us to and through our communities. When these networks begin to separate themselves from community and limit or even eliminate connections, the communities in turn begin to show signs of paralysis and stagnation.
Additionally, these networks create viable, accessible development opportunities through block and parcel patterns defined by streets and pedestrian ways. When roadways drop their connections, they also eliminate potential development patterns and subsequent opportunities for active and meaningful use of the surrounding land.
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