We can fix a big mistake by removing Scajaquada

In 1950, Buffalo had grown to be a thriving city of almost 600,000 people. It had done so without an expressway roaring through Delaware Park. People went from home to work and about their daily business just fine using city streets. Today, when the city has shrunk by more than half, how is this expressway’s continued existence justified?

The Scajaquada Expressway was supposed to improve the connectivity of the city and help the city grow. Instead, it did the very opposite, as it cut off neighborhoods and institutions on each side of the expressway from one another, helping to accelerate the city’s decline.

This is one of many bad plans from which Buffalo has suffered. Not all of those mistakes can be fixed, but fortunately this one can by completely removing the Scajaquada from Route 190 to Route 33.

Yes, many people use the Scajaquada – I’m one of them. But I will gladly accept a slightly longer travel time on city streets if it means that the crown jewel of our park system will be restored. Just consider for a moment what our city would look like without the Scajaquada, and it is difficult to not be excited by the possibilities.

Imagine tourists being able to walk from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery to the History Museum without having to cross an ugly highway overpass. Imagine residents being able to walk in Delaware Park without the constant noise of an expressway in the background.

It’s time to erase this mistake from our past. Restoring the centerpiece of Frederick Law Olmsted’s park system and reconnecting our neighborhoods and institutions is a goal of which our entire city should be proud.

Brad Hahn