Tue October 15, 2013
Peace Bridge traffic redesign goes before the public
A proposed project that is designed to improve traffic flow to and from the Peace Bridge is working its way through the federal environmental review process. Residents can get an update on the plan Tuesday.
Despite its proximity to the span, the "Gateway Connections Improvement Project" is the work of the New York State Department of Transportation, not the Peace Bridge Authority.
Plans include providing direct access to and from the bridge plaza in Buffalo to the Thruway, according to State Assemblyman Sean Ryan. He says one of the goals is to get Peace Bridge traffic out of Front Park.
"Right now, as you're exiting the Peace Bridge, and you're trying to get on the 190, you have to actually drive all the way through Front Park, take a right on Porter Avenue, and then take a right on to the 190. So we're going to make it so you can directly enter and exit the 190 right at the Peace Bridge to really eliminate the traffic from moving through the park. And to move the traffic as far away as possible from the neighborhood," Ryan says.
The project involves removing Baird Drive from Front Park, which will not only allow for the restoration of the Olmsted designed Park, but Ryan says it will also reduce Peace Bridge traffic in the Columbus Park neighborhood.
Renderings will be on display to show changes made to the plan after the first public meeting. Unlike past proposals involving the Peace Bridge, Ryan says this project is drawing little opposition.
"This isn't an expansion, we're not moving anything around. It's really going to be a benefit to the Columbus Park neighborhood and the neighborhoods adjacent to that area," Ryan says.
Ryan says federal funding was secured to help cover the cost of the project. The informational meeting is from 4-7 p.m. in the Connecticut Street Armory.