Wait for experts’ analysis before choosing train site
The location of a new train station is becoming a hot issue for our community. Both Rep. Brian Higgins and Mayor Byron Brown have weighed in on the matter.
We currently have a 17-member nonpartisan committee exploring the major options. It is chaired by one of our community’s most prominent city planners, Robert Shibley, dean of the University at Buffalo School of Architecture. Shibley has quite a track record in chairing such planning committees over the past 20 years. For example, his work with Mayor Anthony Masiello was a vital part of jump-starting downtown development through a new community collaboration process.
The committee has also hired a nationally prominent engineering firm, Parsons Brinckerhoff, to assist in evaluating and quantifying the complex options that go into the train station decision. Just to mention a few:
• The site should have enough tangent or straight track to enable passengers to unload from any car along the length of the train.
• The site should allow for convenient intermodal transfers.
• The site should be near a center of activity to stimulate more ridership.
• There should be an opportunity for both east and west traffic.
• Cost, on-time arrival, constructability and site development readiness should be considered.
Hence, the train station location decision is a complex one. I urge all parties to please wait until the committee’s analysis of all the location factors is completed before promoting any location with inadequate information. And I think our community will be better for it.
Gerald E. Kelly
Former Executive Director
Greater Buffalo Development Foundation