Route 198 is not used as planners intended
Yes, Route 198 was a mistake. But not because it’s an exceptionally dangerous road to drive on or walk by; not because it divided neighborhoods; not because it wrecked Delaware Park; not because it separated cultural institutions; not because it prevents SUNY Buffalo State students from using the Amherst Street business district; not because it lures traffic that would otherwise avoid the area; and not because it induces harmful traffic pollution near the neighborhoods, schools, colleges, parks, cultural institutions and businesses it impacts. Those are all unintended consequences of the misguided function it was originally built to serve.
The Scajaquada Expressway is a mistake because it was built to connect Route 33 and Interstate 190. Well, guess what? It doesn’t do that. According to New York State Department of Transportation studies, only about 15 percent of traffic on Route 198 actually makes that trip. The remaining 85 percent uses the road the way people used to use Humboldt Parkway and South Meadow Drive – to commute about their neighborhoods, parks, shopping districts, and workplaces.
The Scajaquada corridor is real, however, because it has the creek as its backbone. It has parks, bike paths, neighborhoods, museums, schools, colleges and businesses. It embodies some of the best reasons to live in Buffalo. We can’t let the DOT memorialize its past planning mistakes by leaving them in place. We need to correct those mistakes along the entire length of the corridor.