The Big Picture: A Plan for Buffalo
Buffalo's Big Picture, Kensington, Scajacquada plans could gain in "Reconnecting Communities Act"

Cloudwalk and Skyway: Where would drivers go?

Ground-level Route 5 sheet 39
A lot of people are wondering what the 37,000 vehicles a day using Route 5 between Woodlawn and downtown Buffalo would do if the Skyway were closed to vehicles and reprogrammed as the Cloudwalk for walkers, bikers, picnicking and the like. Route 5 in Woodlawn and Lackawanna is at-grade, with cross streets, traffic lights, a 40mph posted speed limit, and six moving lanes (three in each direction).

The short answer is to merely insure that there are six lanes crossing the Buffalo River along the waterfront. You don't have to build a new $550,000,000-inland-expressway-and-Thruway-widening to do that. Just return Ohio and Louisiana streets to four lanes (as they were until 2009) and add a two-lane bridge and a Ganson Street extension on the west bank of the City Ship Canal. A few other details here and there, and you save a lot of time, money and angst, and you get a much nicer transportation network for people and neighborhoods. The DOT hasn't yet considered such a solution.

Considering DOT itself estimates that 12,000 vehicles will use the Thruway instead, the local street network (which could use a re-paving, new sidewalks, and flanking bike paths anyway) has enough reserve capacity to handle the remainder. All that, plus the Cloudwalk? Yes, please! Here is a sheet from the Big Picture folio that explains it. You can access the full folio of images here: Download Big Picture folio 40pp

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