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Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy #SaveDelawarePark Campaign Petition Gains Thousands of Signatures

By December 7, 2017 No Comments

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Momentum leads to Buffalo Common Council resolution calling for NYSDOT to halt project work

Media Contact: Therese Fuerst, Fuerst Consulting Corp., 716.200.3593

(Buffalo, NY) – The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy’s multifaceted campaign in an effort to stop the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) from moving forward with a plan that would eliminate 14 acres of parkland and keep Delaware Park divided has led to more than 5,000 petition signatures and a Buffalo Common Council resolution for the NYS DOT to halt its work on the 198 Expressway.

“The community has spoken,” stated Stephanie Crockatt, Executive Director of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy. “Construction of the Scajaquada Expressway divided and destroyed acres of parkland in the jewel of Olmsted’s first park system and we must correct this mistake now. It is evident by the thousands of signatures on our petition and the Common Council Resolution that the community and City leadership are coming together to unite around the immediate action that needs to take place to Save Delaware Park and restore Olmsted’s vision.”

Re-design of the 198 Scajaquada Expressway in Buffalo has been under study by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYS DOT) for more than 15 years.  Two years ago, a fatal crash prompted a series of reforms designed to enhance public safety along this intrusive corridor. Thanks to Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Byron Brown’s leadership, temporary measures were quickly put in place while NYS DOT developed a long-term plan for a reduced roadway. Unfortunately, the proposal released by NYS DOT falls far short of what was promised and fails to correct mistakes that date back to the 1950’s.

The Conservancy’s campaign to #SaveDelawarePark calls upon residents of Western New York to let their voice be heard and tell the NYSDOT to rethink its current short-sighted plan, and join with the community on a comprehensive approach that would reunite the park, reconnect the community, and improve accessibility through safe complete streets.

Members of the community are invited to join the thousands of people that have already signed the petition to #SaveDelawarePark at Save Delaware Park: Restore Olmsted’s Legacy. Lawn signs are available for pick up at the Delaware Park Lodge, 84 Parkside Avenue.

The next event in the ongoing campaign to Save Delaware Park is the Urban Planning and Community Engagement Forum with special guest, Ian Lockwood, expert on innovative transportation solutions and engineer with Toole Design Group – Wednesday, Dec 13th, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. at Burchfield Penney Art Center. For the most up-to-date events calendar and to get involved today, please visit bfloparks.org/198.

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About the #SaveDelawarePark campaign: 
A grassroots effort, led by the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy, the #SaveDelawarePark campaign is designed to convince the NYS Department of Transportation to rethink its current short-sighted plan and join with the community on a comprehensive approach that would reunite the park and reconnect the community, improve accessibility through safe complete streets, and enhance the economic vitality of this corridor for our City.

About the Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy: 
The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is the first nonprofit organization in the nation to manage and operate an entire urban park system that consists of 850 acres of beautifully designed historic parks, parkways and circles. The Buffalo Olmsted Parks Conservancy is a not-for-profit, membership-based, community organization whose mission is to promote, preserve, restore, enhance, and maintain the Frederick Law Olmsted-designed parks and parkways in the Greater Buffalo area for current and future generations. More than 2.5 million people use Buffalo’s historic, award-winning Olmsted Park system annually for recreation, relaxation and rejuvenation. The parks were designed by America’s first landscape architect, Frederick Law Olmsted more than 148 years ago. Basic maintenance of the parks has been greatly improved since the 2004 groundbreaking public-private agreement with the City of Buffalo and Erie County. Since that time, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, now partnering with the City of Buffalo, has retained full responsibility for the management and care of these green spaces which are listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places. Most recently, the American Planning Association recognized Delaware Park as one of the 2014 Great Places in America and The Guardian named the Olmsted park system as one of the best park systems in the world. bfloparks.wpengine.com

The Buffalo Olmsted Park System includes: 
Six parks: Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo, Delaware Park in Delaware/Parkside District, Front Park at the Peace Bridge, Martin Luther King, Jr. Park at Fillmore Avenue, Riverside Park at Niagara and Tonawanda Street, and South Park at McKinley Parkway
Seven parkways: Bidwell, Chapin, Lincoln, McKinley, Porter, Red Jacket, and Richmond
Eight landscaped traffic circles: Agassiz, Colonial, Ferry, Gates, McClellan, McKinley, Soldiers, and Symphony