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Your chance to see plans for making Scajaquada a boulevard

By Harold McNeil

News Staff Reporter

Curious about traffic on the Scajaquada?

A lot of people do. And tonight is the time to find out more.

An open house aimed at providing information about the Scajaquada Corridor Project is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday in the gym at Frederick Law Olmsted School 64, 874 Amherst St.

Once completed, sometime in 2018, the Scajaquada corridor will likely be downsized into a low-speed, urban boulevard with two lanes in each direction. The road will be in keeping with the aesthetic of Delaware Park and will provide accommodation for bicycle and pedestrian traffic, according to transportation department officials.

The state Department of Transportation will offer you an opportunity to browse project displays on concepts for potential improvements to the Scajaquada corridor, aka Route 198, between Grant Street and Parkside Avenue.

Transportation officials earlier this year announced plans for a major redesign of the Scajaquada Expressway that is intended to calm traffic on the 1960s-era expressway, which daily carries 50,000 cars and trucks across North Buffalo between the Kensington Expressway and the Niagara Thruway.

In the meantime, temporary gateway signs are being installed at each end of the corridor, along with restriping and narrowing of the westbound travel lanes in the east end of the corridor and installation of rumble strips along the eastbound lanes of the west end of the corridor.

Also being installed in advance of the redesign are additional electronic variable messaging signs also will be installed indicating the lower 30 mph speed limit and will be moved periodically to ensure motorists are aware of them.

Various changes to the Scajaquada have been under consideration for about 15 years. The most recent change was an abrupt downgrading of the speed limt on the expressway from 55 mph to 30 mph. That was under an executive order by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo a year ago following a tragic accident that took the life of a 3-year-old boy when a car veered off the Scajquada, jumped the curb and struck him as he walked on the Ring Road in Delaware Park with his mother and sister.

State transportation department officials will be available at Thursday’s open house to answer questions about various project studies related to planned improvements to the Scajaquada corridor.