There is a community effort underway to try and revive the Bailey Avenue Corridor in Buffalo's East Side. It is called "Better on Bailey" and focuses on helping businesses stay in the area as a way to attract people.
Bailey Avenue use to be a thriving business district and neighborhood.
Through the years, it has fallen into decline with businesses moving out, buildings boarded up and increased issues with crime.
Many worry that the area has become mostly a high-traffic pass-thru for vehicles from the Kensington Expressway going to the Buffalo VA Hospital and U.B's South Campus.
"Better on Bailey" has already spurred community cleanup efforts and public art projects.
It is also being helped by money from the Buffalo Billion Initiative that is reimbursing business owners in the area for making improvements to their storefronts.
However, the area has many problems that make it pedestrian unfriendly - such as lack of crosswalks, inferior street lighting, no bike lanes and barren sidewalks.
The University District Community Development Association (UDCDA) is hoping to change that.
"We are hoping to return interest and confidence in this neighborhood," said Roseann Scibilia, Executive Director of UDCDA, who expressed hope that the Bailey Avenue corridor will someday be the next "go to" neighborhood in Buffalo.
UDCDA is overseeing use of the NYS money for storefront improvements. It also produced a "Better on Bailey:Infrastructure Plan" with recommendations to make the area more attractive to pedestrians.
Public input is still welcome with people able to submit their ideas on improving Bailey Avenue through the UDCDA website: http://udcda.org/
7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly spoke with Darren Cotton who put the UDCDA infrastructure plan together.