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Letter: Seneca Tower plaza is ideal for train stop

Seneca Tower plaza is ideal for train stop

It is often said that the bright side of crisis is opportunity. Who could have guessed during Buffalo’s darkest economic times that a half century of “underdevelopment” would end up preserving so many beautiful historic buildings that would otherwise have been razed?

Buffalo was second only to Chicago as a rail hub, leaving us a bounty of unused railroad rights-of-way, many of them publicly owned. What a perfect opportunity to capitalize on that asset while solving other problems, namely, the collapse of our inadequate downtown Amtrak station just as the new developers of Central Terminal and One Seneca Tower are tackling rehab plans.

Idea: As Seneca Tower just announced intentions to reconfigure its plaza for a better connection to Canalside – and Amtrak trains pass right by there below grade – why not incorporate a train stop into the plaza redesign? This would provide a convenient connection for tourists to and from Niagara Falls while intersecting with Metro Rail and moving our downtown Amtrak service to a more central, scenic location.

Seeing as westbound intercity trains still require a station farther east, restore Central Terminal as Buffalo’s premier Amtrak station, replacing the impractical Depew station that is unreachable for travelers without cars. The incremental extension of Metro Rail would ultimately connect this busy downtown/waterfront hub to Central Terminal and the airport, stopping at Larkinville, Walden Galleria and park-and-rides along the way, alleviating yet another recent crisis: downtown traffic jams. Let’s go for it!

Elizabeth Giles

Buffalo

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