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Letter: Remove Scajaquada from Delaware Park

Remove Scajaquada from Delaware Park

Since its construction in the 1960s, the Scajaquada Expressway has been a dangerous and adverse intrusion into Buffalo’s historic Delaware Park, a master work of Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux. Its incongruous presence damaged one of the city’s prize amenities, and with the additional destruction of once beautiful Agassiz Circle and incomparable Humboldt Parkway, harmed nearby neighborhoods.

The National Association for Olmsted Parks joins with those many citizens of Buffalo calling for the removal of the expressway from the park landscape or, short of that, implementing the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s thoughtful plan to reroute the roadway in order to restore safe and convenient pedestrian access between the two sides of the park.

The alternative plan put forward by the New York State Department of Transportation to “improve” the highway falls far short of this goal and discounts the esthetic and recreational priorities that guided Olmsted’s and Vaux’s park creation. In 1868 – 150 years ago next year – Buffalo brought the best minds in the country to bear upon the development of its urban plan. The city received worldwide recognition for its efforts.

As a major article in the Oct. 22 New York Times highlights, Buffalo is in the midst of an urban revival that is drawing national attention. The National Association for Olmsted Parks calls upon today’s leaders to live up to the city’s heritage of enlightened planning and restore to its citizens the esthetic and recreational integrity of one of America’s great public parks.

Lucy Lawliss, FASLA

Arleyn Levee, Hon. ASLA

Co-chairwomen, National Association for Olmsted Parks

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