Fillmore Avenue: Bulb-outs and bicycle lanes

Bulb-outs, bicycle lanes, and other street improvements are coming to Fillmore Avenue. This would have been unimaginable only eight or nine years ago, before Mayor Byron W. Brown came into office.

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During Brown's administration, the City adopted New York State's first complete streets ordinance, and everywhere improvements are being made to the City's streets, this policy is being implemented. The Green Code, a comprehensive rewrite of Buffalo's land use and zoning policies, intends to take this policy even further. Today we have a policy to do complete streets; when the new code is adopted, Buffalo will have a policy on how to do complete streets.

The Fillmore Avenue Streetscape Project represents a $2.2 million investment by the City. Bravo to Mayor Byron Brown and advocates such as Go Bike Buffalo for bringing about this culture change in City Hall. Pedestrian and bicycle investments will add so much value, especially on the city's East Side.

See also:  fixBuffalo Fillmore Avenue photo set.


CNU22: Part I

As part of a 'kickoff' event for CNU22 in Buffalo next year, Norman Garrick, Professor of Transportation & Urban Planning at the University of Connecticut and CNU Board Member, will be speaking in Buffalo on October 3, 6 pm, at the Central (downtown) Library. Mr. Garrick has done some groundbreaking work on urban expressway removal, and it would be good to engage him with the Scajaquada, Kensington, and Skyway/Route 5 expressways. 

In addition, we will be screening John Paget's latest video "Buffalo: America's Best Designed City" and learning more about next year's CNU held in Buffalo from June 4–7, 2014.

Speaking of expressway removal - make sure to check out the fixBuffalo Kensington File.   Download the event PDF and feel free to print or otherwise distribute as you see fit.  


Photo update

I've migrated my photo collection to the France-based Ipernity site.  Yahoo's buy-out a few years ago and subsequent recent changes to Flickr's minimalist aesthetic forced my hand a few months ago. Going forward fixBuffalo photos will be uploaded and hosted right here on Ipernity.  

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In addition to the photos that appear on fixBuffalo, I've been out shooting in other places in Buffalo, NY like City of Night 2013.  I've travelled between Buffalo and New York City on Amtrak frequently and pointed my lens out the window.  Those pics are here.  There's a growing collection of Buffalo heritage photos that I'm archiving here.

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Urbex photography remains fascinating and continues to hold my attention.  Documenting and exploring the country's industrial remains...a work in progress.  Here's a shot from a Summer sojurn. Additional urbex photography ends up in this set.

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So after 8 years and 2 million visitors to my Flickr site, I've moved on.  The vibrant Flickr community, a community the embodied the spirit of social-networking, is split on the changes and many of my contacts have now switched sides.  The pics will stay yet you'll have to check my Ipernity site for what I'm focusing on going forward.  If you're shooting - or considering picking up a camera - and sharing your images with others, check out Ipernity.  


St. Ann's: Poster child of the effects of sprawl

Nothing illustrates better the effects of Buffalo's suburban sprawl than these two aerial images of the now threatened St. Ann's Church & Shrine at Broadway and Emslie streets.  In one image, dating to the early 1950's, a dense, compact neighborhood surrounds the church. Stores, homes, and factories exist cheek-by-jowl. Everything is within walking distance from where folks live: retail, school, work, worship. It's an image of an economically vibrant, sustainable neighborhood.

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The next image, taken recently by photographer James Cavanaugh, is the same perspective. A Broadway/Emslie neighborhood is robbed of people, commerce, and hope. The I-190 and Kensington expressways were built a half century ago to solve the "congestion" problem on Broadway and other radials leading from downtown. As the present-day image illustrates, this strategy succeeded. Along with the traffic congestion, the congestion of money, congestion of commerce, and congestion of people were also "solved."

photo credit: Copyright 2013 James Cavanaugh / www.cavphoto.com

The Diocese of Buffalo is now facing the familiar challenges of sprawl without growth, its worship halls, schools, and other facilities serving a dwindling and dispersed regional population. The realities of  sprawl should not require the destruction of one the city's great works of architecture—the church and shrine devoted to St. Ann, built by the hands of our immigrant grandfathers from 1878 to 1886—but sprawl makes the insane, sane.

Will Buffalo let sprawl win? Or will the Broadway/Emslie neighborhood be allowed to keep at least one symbol of hope that is left?

Paul McDonnell, Chair of the City's Preservation Board and President of the Campaign for Greater Buffalo has completed the landmark nomination application.  There's a public hearing this Thursday: September 19th at 3pm in room 901 City Hall where the public will have the opportunity to show their support for landmarking St. Ann's.

To help keep StAnn's Church and Shrine standing, please consider joining the Campaign for Greater Buffalo History, Architecture, & Culture.

See:  additional images of St. Ann's here and from this fixBuffalo tour of the tower in 2007.