Times change. It’s time Scajaquada to change, too
The rhetoric around the issue of the 198 is rising to fever pitch. Why don’t people shut up about this stupid road?
To most people, the 198 is just a road. If you live near Buffalo State, it’s a handy way to get to Main street, or the 190. If you live in Cheektowaga, it gets you to the Albright-Knox. Some would miss it, a bit, if it were gone.
But to some people, the 198 is more than a road. If they have long memories, or know history, it’s an act of devastation. If they live near Kensington, Loring, or Parkside, it’s a wall. Many would rejoice, a lot, if it were gone.
How did we get to this point? In the ’50s and ’60s, national values included pave, drive, pave. Like many roads of that era, part of the 198 was funded by our state and the federal governments. The engines, roads, and transit system we built in those post-war years ... for over half a century, we lived in the “Age of the Car.”
The “Age of the Car” brought many great things (ambulances top the list), but it abused our cities. It toppled houses and trees. It put expediency before legacy. And to the “Age of the Car,” you only mattered if you had a damn car.
I love my car. I’m a stick-shifter who takes offense when people use a computer to parallel park. But even I have the Uber app. Even I know that someday soon, transit as we know it is going to change, and a new era of transportation will be upon us.
The “Age of the Car” is ending. So is a way of life.
If Buffalo ever needed a big, toxic, loud, divisive wall, cutting off our neighborhoods and defiling our park, we don’t need it anymore.
If Buffalo ever needed to surrender local control of our roadways to the state, so commuters could get somewhere bigger, faster, and stronger, we don’t need to anymore.
If Buffalo ever needed to tolerate a dangerous, inappropriate dagger in the beating heart of America’s “best-designed city,” we don’t need to anymore.
Ways change. Roads change. Buffalo, it’s time to get rid of this wall.
Stephanie Cole Adams Esq.