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What to do with the Scajaquada Expressway?

New efforts underway push for a redesign of the Scajaquada Corridor
Posted at 6:29 PM, Sep 23, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 18:29:22-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — It was a horrible, heartbreaking accident in May 2015 when a car drove off the Scajaquada Expressway (Rt.198) and killed a 3-year-old child who was in Delaware Park.

One of the first actions taken by New York State after the fatality was to lower the Rt. 198 speed limit from 50 mph to 30 mph, with promises that a redesign of the state road would follow.

More than four years later, no redesign has taken place after stakeholders for the Scajaquada Corridor failed to come to a compromise.

Now, there are new efforts to get things moving with a redesign as drivers continue to be frustrated by the 30 mph speed limit on the expressway.

Buffalo Common Councilmembers Joe Golombek and Joel Feroleto will be introducing a resolution during the next full council meeting calling on Governor Cuomo to implement a nationwide design for the Rt. 33 and Rt. 198 expressways, similar to what was done with the Skyway in Buffalo.

Joe Golombek told 7 Eyewitness News Reporter Ed Reilly that he believes the speed limit on the Scajaquada should be raised to 40 mph until construction takes place and a new design is put into place.

Former Erie County Executive Joel Giambra is leading his own effort to collect signatures calling for the expressway's speed to be put back up to 50 mph.

While Scajaquada Corridor Coalition co-chair, Justin Booth, said he is not against the idea of a competition, Booth is against the idea of raising the speed limit.

"Just by lowering the speed limit, there has been a 35% reduction in crashes and the severity of those crashes have dropped precipitously," said Booth, who is also connected to GoBike Buffalo.

The Scajaquada Corridor Coalition, said Booth, is hoping all concerned parties will work together with the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC) which was recently appointed by New York State to lead a new initiative to develop a plan for the Scajaquada corridor.

"Changing the conversation from where we were before about how a roadway fits into a park, to what is the community's vision for that corridor," added Booth.