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Letter: Don’t halt city’s progress just to save a few minutes

Don’t halt city’s progress just to save a few minutes

I’m writing in response to the Feb. 13 editorial regarding the proposed changes to the Scajaquada Expressway, which is an unsafe eyesore splitting historic Delaware Park and several city neighborhoods in two.

The editorial questions the current 30 mph speed limit and proposes that it be raised to 40 or even 45 mph, closer to its former 50 mph limit. It takes only about three minutes longer at the higher speed to travel its entire length, and less than a-minute-and-a-half in the section that goes through the park. Not much time saved at the higher, more unsafe speed.

You also state that downgrading the Scajaquada will result in traffic diverting to neighborhood streets. The logic of this escapes me. If vehicles exit the Scajaquada because they oppose going 30 mph, they wind up on a city street where the speed limit is 30 mph! Businesses along city streets, like Hertel Avenue, might actually benefit from increased traffic.

After years of stagnation, Buffalo is becoming a modern, bicycle-friendly, walkable, forward-thinking city. It’s ridiculous to cling to the outdated notion, popular in the 1950s and ’60s, to move cars as fast as possible from one place to another regardless of the impact on surrounding communities.

I applaud New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll for fast-tracking the downgrading of the Scajaquada, which has been in the works for decades and is long overdue. Let’s not halt progress in this city to save a few minutes.

Barbara Cady