Returning cars to Main St. will reverse progress made

With all of the new residential development near our Metro Rail route and the desirability of providing public transportation along its now recognized educational corridor, it seems like it’s a no-brainer to extend the Metro Rail to the University at Buffalo North Campus. Unfortunately, at the present time, another type of no-brainer is taking place downtown that seems completely contradictory to that progressive notion. Not to be a naysayer, but how does the project to return automobiles to Main Street do anything except ruin what could be a city oasis for thousands of residents, commuters and tourists?

We rely on our leaders for good judgment, but we think we’ve had an outdated project shoved down our throats, and that those who are pursuing it are afraid to admit they made a mistake. Some of us now believe that if creative aesthetic improvements were added to the pedestrian mall area already in place, Buffalo would have an area so unique, so progressive, so 21st century, that it could change our image forever. At the very least, we’d have a great place to hang out and enjoy its pedestrian-friendly link to our beautiful harbor front.

Many people think that without the gross intrusion of the noise, dirt, congestion and danger often associated with the automobile, an enhanced pedestrian mall would be a tremendous asset for us. The prospect of continued residential growth, rediscovery of our waterfront, the ongoing medical corridor expansion, a vibrant theater and entertainment district and increased use of the Metro Rail all point to an exciting future for downtown Buffalo.

In the face of all this progress, why are we allowing our elected leaders and their civic appointees to tear out Metro Rail stations, cut down trees, dig up sidewalks and continue to waste our money on a project that no longer makes any sense?

Michael J. Zobel