Buffalo must coordinate disjointed traffic signals
With all the talk of Buffalo’s resurgence, how about rejuvenating our totally uncoordinated traffic signal system? Even major arteries, like Main Street in University Heights, are stop and start, rush hour or not. The result is gridlocked intersections, cars running lights, road rage, longer travel times and increased air pollution from all the stops, starts and idling engines.
This is not a new problem. During President Obama’s first administration, the region received federal stimulus funds to upgrade the system, but the county executive at the time, Chris Collins, saw fit to use the money for something else.
Recently I met someone who moved here from Los Angeles six months ago; he likes Buffalo much more than he expected, but has one primary complaint. With no prompting from me, he said the traffic lights drive him crazy, that’s it’s faster and smoother to travel the city streets of LA than Buffalo – LA, for Pete’s sake! He said it makes the city look backward.
I realize this issue isn’t as sexy as new market-rate loft apartments downtown, but Buffalo’s rebirth should include the streets as well the buildings. Right now, it’s like driving old-time Buffalo – no place to go, and all the time in the world to get there.