Are These The 3 Biggest Mistakes Buffalo Has Ever Made?
There are a lot of reasons why people claim Buffalo struggles. But three of the biggest ones were arguably decisions that were made by people.
People say a lot of things about Buffalo. Mostly it's from people that have never lived here or people who simply moved away awhile ago and haven't seen the changes that have been made. Of course one of the biggest things people talk about when it comes to Buffalo is the weather.
But some of the biggest problems that Buffalo (as a city) have, stem from decisions that people made awhile ago.
What are Buffalo's 3 Biggest Mistakes?
Urban planners have lamented over 3 huge mistakes in Buffalo for the past 50 years.
by u/redcatmanfoo in Buffalo
Reddit user redcatmanfoo lined them up pretty nicely.
1. The 190
2. The 33
3. The placement of the Buffalo Bills stadium
Do you agree? Two of them have to do with our Buffalo highways, and another has to do with something that could have been fixed with the building of the new Bills stadium.
It's true when they say that the 190 was a huge mistake. The problem isn't the highway. It's great to have a fast way to get around the city. The problem was where they placed it. Buffalo is placed right on the shores of Lake Erie. With so much access to the waterfront, instead of having things that people can do there, we've got a highway that overlooks the water.
This is another road that was placed incorrectly. 50 years ago they built route 33 (or as some people still call it - The Kensington Expressway) straight through Humbolt Parkway. As you drive down it, you can see that there are houses on either side facing the highway. What was meant as another way to quickly get people from one side of the city to the other has separated neighborhoods and split up business districts.
As it stands right now, the city is looking for a new way to re-route 33 through a tunnel that would allow for more green space above the highway and still allow for cars to quickly navigate the city.
The Buffalo Bills Stadium
What currently stands as Highmark Stadium was originally Rich Stadium when it was built back in the early 70's. It's an open-air stadium that isn't in the city of Buffalo at all. It's in the suburb of Orchard Park.
For years, the weather was considered an advantage for the Bills. As a matter of fact, until 1996, The Bills had never lost a playoff game there. But now, after a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals this past season, people are questioning whether or not it's worth it to sit in the weather or if it's actually an advantage to play in the snow.
The other issue, other than the weather at the stadium, is the fact that it's not in the city. Buffalo is missing out on some major money if they had the Bills downtown.
History Repeats Itself?
So where do we go from here? Over the last couple of years, the city has done what it can to make the most out of our waterfront. But replacing the 190 altogether would be a ridiculously expensive endeavor.
The 33 is being reimagined now. They're trying to develop a tunnel system that would allow the neighborhoods to reunite. They've been awarded $55 million to transform the Kensington through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act’s Reconnecting Communities Program.
The Buffalo Bills stadium is being rebuilt. However, it's still an open-air stadium and it's still not going to be in the city. While some would say that we didn't learn from our first mistake, others would ask, how could it be any different? With the infrastructure, the way it is downtown, to put 60,000 people downtown would require huge changes to the roads and would be another instance where people would be displaced from their homes.
Even though the plans for the stadium are close to finished, the debate goes on. Is Buffalo making another huge mistake by putting the stadium in Orchard Park?