Creating a plan to transform an outdated transportation asset—for more vibrant, equitable, and healthy communities
Cutting through economically and racially diverse Buffalo neighborhoods and a historic Olmsted Park, the Scajaquada is a limited access expressway built in the 1950s. Transforming it has long been a priority for state lawmakers. After years of previous efforts meeting roadblocks in finding consensus, the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) took the lead on a new, broader-based effort and engaged us to help.
Seeing an opportunity to go beyond simply reconfiguring a road, our interdisciplinary team found a way to serve broader community goals for equitable economic development, environmental justice, and environmental restoration. Our innovative process—combining intensive community and stakeholder engagement along with a metric-based evaluation—built widespread support and legitimacy for transforming the expressway.
Inspired by the expressway’s historic configuration, our plan recommends a tree-lined, at-grade parkway with multimodal amenities such as paved bike paths and walking trails. To amplify the plan’s community impacts, we provided public policy recommendations for affordable housing, workforce development, and environmental resilience. Additionally, our plan includes emerging mobility options such as mobility hubs, transit priority, and electric vehicle and other next-generation mobility infrastructure.
The transformation of the Scajaquada will help enhance the communities it runs through for a more equitable future for all.
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