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Metrorail: A Planner's Notes

MetroRail definitely needs to be expanded. The current line needs to be extended to Williamsville under Main Street and I-290 (the current line was built under the Scajacquada Expressway) with stations that fit with existing surrounding buildings in Amherst and Williamsville. As well, a line needs to go from the LaSalle Station to from the proposed to UB North Campus and the Tonawandas and then Niagara Falls and its renovated airport.

A “loop” line should run from North Campus to Hamburg via Williamsville, the BNF Airport, Depew/Lancaster, West Seneca, and Orchard Park, and then Hamburg and Lake Shore and along Lake Erie and the Niagara River. This would greatly reduce traffic on the I-190 (which should eventually close between I-290 and the Cobblestone District to make way for a rewatered Erie Canal between Tonawanda and expanded Commercial Slip). As well, this could cross the Buffalo River over the Skyway, which would be renovated under an urban planner’s idea and be what Main Street in downtown was supposed to be.

Another line could run between West Seneca and the Hydraulics district as well as one along the Amtrak line from downtown to Depew and Lancaster with stops at the BNF Airport and the Central Terminal, which would become a new Amtrak station with high speed rail. The current Amtrak stations in Cheektowaga and on Exchange in downtown could be converted to local stations on this line. Yet another line could run along the former Norfolk and Southern right-of-way from the Central Terminal to the new “loop” near Niagara Street with new stations in part of the Market at Main as well as at Delaware, Elmwood, and Niagara Street. A new station should also be built along the current line at the corner of Main and Ferry streets as well.

Kevin F. Yost

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