Paladino should embrace Ohio Street transformation
There were contradictions in Carl Paladino’s comments in “The next chapter for Ohio Street” article. Directly following a paragraph where he cited young people as the impetus for him developing the neighborhood, he made multiple misguided statements that contradicted this.
“They made a big mistake by making it into a two-way highway when it should have been a four-lane.” Ohio Street is not a highway, it’s a neighborhood complete street that affords the safe use of multiple transportation methods. If the city had created yet another four-lane street for cars only, it would have ruined any chance of creating neighborhood vitality.
“How many people are riding bikes in this community?” Millennials drive less than any other generation thus far. They consistently report being attracted to less driving-intensive lifestyles, including walkable and bikeable communities. Buffalo has the seventh-fastest growing bike-commuting population among 50 large U.S. cities; those numbers don’t even include the large number of folks who bike strictly for recreation.
“If you want to ride a bike, do it on the sidewalk. That’s why they have sidewalks.” Children are the only ones legally allowed to ride on the sidewalk. Riding on the sidewalk is also dangerous for pedestrians and it perpetuates the false notion that streets were made for cars only. They were not.
Luckily, Paladino aired his concerns once the street was finished, not before. If he wants to help make Ohio Street a vibrant community that attracts young people, he should let go of his antiquated views of them and what they want. Instead, he should embrace the gold mine the city gave him when it transformed Ohio Street into a walkable, bikeable complete street.
Community Outreach Coordinator