One of the most profound urban design mistakes in Buffalo’s history has been our treatment of Scajaquada Creek. In Black Rock, the creek winds though industrial brownfeilds and functions as a sewage ditch — with all of the runoff pollutants from the Airport, Cheektowaga shopping malls, and sewer overflows. Beyond Delaware park the creek has been built over, functioning purely as a sewer below.
The New York State Department of Transportation has met public outrage for attempting to reconstruct the 3 mile stretch of highway that activists call unnecessary and a threat to public safety. They say that the highway suppresses property values and is a blight on the city’s flagship public space.
Imagine reclaiming the defunct industrial expanses that sit idle in Black Rock and repurposing the space into a vast park with a cleaned and re-landscaped Scajaquada Creek. Rather than the highway severing the city like a wall, we can reshape the entire section of the city into a seamless campus like environment that melds several disjointed neighborhoods into vibrant commercial districts and high quality public spaces.