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Community members not happy with DOT I-198 proposal

Posted: 11:18 PM, Aug 08, 2017
Updated: 2017-08-09 03:21:16Z

The Department of Transportation released their new plan for the I-198 that would transform the expressway into a boulevard. They would do this by keeping the speed limit at 30 MPH, and adding new pedestrian walkways and bicycle access points. 

The plan would cost an estimated $100 million dollars and could possibly begin construction in the fall of 2018, pending public approval. 

That public approval was not found when we were at the meeting as many were disappointed with the reveal. 

"It really doesn't look like they took it seriously at all," Ellen Stay-Gelen, a Buffalo neighbor said, "Go back to the drawing board guys it's not too late. There's a better way to do it and it's too important."

"It seems that they are continuing to focus on moving traffic through here," Weston Cross, another person not pleased with the reveal said, "that seems to be the main goal."

The Olmstead Parks Conservancy submitted ideas to the DOT prior to Tuesdays reveal. After they announced the project, Olmstead Parks Director Stephanie Crockatt saw that none of their recommendations were included. 

"We hope to bring everyone back to the table. We know they were saying 'no, no, no', but I don't like hearing 'no'" Crockatt said of the decision.

The Olmstead submission included a walkway that would have essentially connected the Albright Knox Art Gallery to the Buffalo Zoo. 

Based on public reaction, the DOT will know within the next few months if they can continue with their plan for the 198.