Restoring Humboldt Parkway Could Cost $500 Million
The stretch we’re talking about goes for almost three-quarters of a mile. It was the topic of a town hall meeting Tuesday night.
The Buffalo Common Council approved getting rid of the original parkway back in 1954, and this coalition wants to restore the Kensington back to its original design, a tree-lined parkway, by covering the expressway.
They showed many examples of other cities that have successfully built green parkways over highways including Seattle, Dallas and Phoenix.
The goal of the Restore Our Community Coalition in 2016 is to raise money. Its leaders explained where it could come from.
“Hopefully, from the federal government and some philanthropists. This has been done across the country and different cities with a combination of both. In some cases, most of the money came from philanthropists, and in other cases most of it came from the government. But no matter what the cost is, we had a study done by UB and it will pay for itself plus create profit to the community” said Richard Cummings from ROCC.
Assemblyman Sean Ryan was at the meeting. His spokesperson tells us that like any major road construction project, this would need a combination of state and federal funding. Ryan is involved now, early on, to help figure out what those funding sources might be.
Nothing has been approved, but this coming year, the Coalition wants to come up with a preliminary design, do an environmental assessment, produce plans, and fundraise.
BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB)- Community leaders in Buffalo want to restore Humboldt Parkway to its former glory. The ambitious plan is still in the preliminary stages.
“Something of this caliber can be accomplished in the City of Buffalo,” said Bradley Bethel, Jr. with Restore Our Community Coalition (ROCC).
ROCC spoke in front of NYS Department of Transportation representatives and public officials, including Assemblyman Sean Ryan, on Tuesday night. The group has been working on plans to change the road pattern since 2012.
The Kensington Expressway cuts right through East Side neighborhoods.
“You can’t cross it to get to a store or even see a neighbor,” said Inez Hord, a longtime resident.
Hord has lived a block from Humboldt Parkway since 1962 and remembers what the road was like before that section of NY-33 was built.
“Beautiful, with trees, grass and greenery, children playing in the parkway, just beautiful,” said Hord.
A group of community leaders want to restore the parkway.
The DOT has come up with options that include lowering parts of Kensington Expressway and running it underneath a parkway. The next step would include scoping and creating preliminary designs, which could cost six million dollars, according to the DOT.
“We’ve had about two dozen cities across the country who have accomplished this over the past 40 years,” said Bethel.
ROCC estimates it will cost $570 million to fully restore the mile between East Ferry and Best St. The group is now asking for public support so they can secure grants to reunite the neighborhood.
“Improved property values, less noise and pollution in our neighborhood, and eventually commercial reinvestment in the Fillmore and Jefferson commercial districts,” said Bethel.
They estimate the project would create more than 900 jobs.
Inez Hord said it’s worth paying tax dollars to complete.
“It would be a wonderful thing,” said Hord. “I believe it’s possible but I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime.”