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What's the future of the Humboldt Parkway?

Posted at 12:30 AM, Nov 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-14 04:14:04-05

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — The future of the Kensington Expressway, which split the Humboldt Parkway neighborhood in 1958 is still in question.

"This big hole in the middle of the city is important to all of us," Stephanie Barber Geter, President of Restore Our Community Coalition, said.

She's been talking about how to reunite the beloved neighborhood for years and it's resonating. Her organization filled the room at the Buffalo Museum of Science for a public meting Monday night.

"People should see it as an issue that we've worked on a long time and it's going to take a little longer, but we're going to get it done," Barber Geter said.

"Psychologically, if we can't reconnect this community than all of our rise in our economy will fall back at some point," New York State Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes said.

The focus of the project, which has been years in the making, is between Best and East Ferry Streets.

"This is a priority our community and we're driving an agenda forward to bring the funding and resources here to Buffalo," Senator Tim Kennedy said.

State Department of Transportation officials offered six different ideas about how to transform the neighborhood. They say the most feasible option is a $300 million plan that would partially cover the 33 with walk-able green space connecting the neighborhood above.

They also highlighted a tunnel option that would offer more above-ground green space possibilities. That option would cost between $580-$670 million.

Barber Geter said her organization is on board for either option, but wants to address some health concerns about the tunnel option.

Others in attendance want all options considered including turning the 33 into a boulevard.

"If we want beauty and livability and bike-ability and actually want multi-model transit for everybody then we can have a boulevard design," Dana Saylor said.