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Return Of Vehicular Traffic To Main Streets 600 Block
MAYOR BROWN, CONGRESSMAN HIGGINS AND MANY OTHER ELECTED LEADERS AND DIGNITARIES CELEBRATE THE RETURN OF VEHICULAR TRAFFIC TO MAIN STREET’S 600 BLOCK
January 23, 2015 – Today, Mayor Byron Brown, joined by Congressman Brian Higgins, members of the Buffalo Common Council, New York State Legislature, Empire State Development Corporation, Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA), Buffalo Place, Shea’s Performing Arts Center and business community, marked the completion of the $8 million redevelopment of the 600 Block of Main Street with a ceremonial vehicular parade along this premier stretch of Main Street.
“Reopening downtown Main Street for business and entertainment is a real game-changer for Buffalo and it’s exciting to see vehicles now rolling down this stretch of Main Street for the first time in decades,” said Mayor Brown, noting that vehicles will share this block with the Light Rail Rapid Transit (LRRT), bicycles and pedestrians. “Today marks a new era for downtown Buffalo and its vibrant theater, restaurant and business district. I thank Congressman Higgins and Senator Schumer for working closely with us to secure federal funding to complete this project, paving the way for increased business and economic activity in the downtown area.”
“Main Street’s downtown bookends at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus and Canalside are already bustling with activity but until now, cars went around Main Street instead of down Main Street,” said Congressman Higgins. “With this project Main Street again becomes the front door to Downtown Buffalo businesses, theaters, restaurants, residences and retail shops, returning the vibrancy and critical mass needed to continue Buffalo’s economic resurgence.”
"Returning cars to Main is a top priority for me because it will support existing businesses, spur more new development, and increase the wonderful forward momentum now coursing through Buffalo and Western New York,” said Senator Charles Schumer. "We are experiencing unprecedented development, excitement, and growth in the downtown area and this will add fuel to that fire. I look forward to continuing to work with the City of Buffalo and the NFTA on this great project."
“This is a very exciting day for Buffalo residents and yet another significant step forward in our city’s remarkable revitalization,” said Buffalo Common Council President Darius Pridgen. “Today marks another major milestone for the Cars Sharing Main Street project and I applaud everyone who helped to bring the 600 Block of Main Street back to life. I now invite all residents and visitors to come back to this vital stretch of Main Street and explore some of the new businesses, restaurants and residential opportunities.”
Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director said, “I want to congratulate Mayor Brown and his team upon the completion of its project to return cars to Main Street. The numerous enhancements to the streetscape will complement the $6.65 million investment made by the NFTA to install new track and pre-fabricated concrete panels to enhance our riders traveling experience.”
Anthony Conte, President of Shea’s Performing Arts Center and President of the Theatre District Association stated, “We have anxiously awaited this day since the planning for our block began some eight years ago. The opening to traffic in the 600 block of Main St. will allow much more convenience for our patrons as well as other patrons at Main St. theatres. Our patrons will no longer have to walk around the block to purchase tickets at Shea’s Ticket Office. Theatre patrons will now be able to be dropped off at the front door of the theatres on Main St. In addition, the traffic and resulting increased activity in the Theatre District will greatly impact the excitement and vitality of Buffalo’s Theatre District. This project is the result of great cooperation among the City of Buffalo, NFTA and the many constituencies within the Theatre District. On behalf of Shea’s and the Theatre District Association, I would like to thank all who were involved in revitalizing Buffalo’s Theatre District as one element of the Cars Sharing Main Street project.”
Buffalo’s downtown Main Street plays a vital role in Buffalo’s new era of opportunity. Returning vehicular traffic to this 10-block stretch of Main Street corrects what some viewed as an urban planning mistake from the 1980’s, ensuring that Buffalo continues to move forward, and grow into a healthy, vibrant downtown.
© 2001-2011 City of Buffalo
Photos by Angel Art LTP, compliments of the Greater Buffalo Convention and Visitors Bureau. Additional photos by Adrian Roselli, compliments of Algonquin Studios