Future of cars sharing Main Street project unknown

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) - "Having cars driving by that can see you would be enormous for us," Kevin Smith, Pizza Plant manager, said. "It would create more business."

Pizza Plant, which is located along the foot of main street at the courtyard by Marriott at Canalside --- a stretch of main closed to all traffic except the metro rail. 

"It's up and coming and more people want to come to Canalside and down to the area its definitely time to create more traffic," Smith said.

Traffic like what you see further up main in the theater district and at fountain plaza where cars now share the street with the metro.  

"Cars sharing Main Street has been a multi-year initiative to get cars back on Main Street and it has been critical to bring economic vitality back to downtown Buffalo," Grant Loomis, Vice President of Government Affairs at Buffalo Niagara Partnership, said.

He says federal transportation grants, known as Tiger grants, have helped pave the way for the return of cars in the 500, 600 and 700 blocks.
Those grants which are needed to fund the remainder of the project from Mohawk to Harborcenter are in jeopardy.
The President's proposed infrastructure package would eliminate the grant program put in place by the Obama Administration. 

"The tiger grant has been critical to this initiative and certainly will have to see if this funding remains viable moving forward," Loomis said.

Small business owners like smith are hopeful the money will be there to shift the cars sharing main street program back into gear. 

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