South Park Revitalization a Go
Erie County Legislator Tim Kennedy, Assemblyman Mark Schroeder, Senator Bill Stachowski, Mayor Byron Brown and Congressman Brian Higgins joined together yesterday to announce a major overhaul of South Park Avenue.
The $2.3 million South Park Avenue Revitalization Project, spearheaded by Kennedy, will stretch 2 miles, from the city line at Lackawanna to Bailey Avenue, and includes repaving streets, new street lights and sidewalks, enhanced brick crosswalks, landscaping, and pedestrian signal improvements.
"This major investment will benefit the community and business owners," Kennedy said. "We haven't focused just on the dollars, but on the next steps. This is a home run for this neighborhood and community. It hasn't been easy--there's been road blocks along the way, but with Schroeder, Stachowski, Higgins, Mayor Brown, our leaders in state government have ensured that the state would make this project a reality."
Mayor Brown added that along with investments made on Seneca Street, the federal dollars for the project authorized through the State of New York, will "provide the same type of improvements that will strengthen South Park Avenue's infrastructure and enhance business activity along this important commercial strip in South Buffalo." He added that a security camera would go up on the corner of South Park and Woodside.
Schroeder gave a nod to the past as well as the future when he said, "If not for the farmers back in the Olmsted days who gave up this land for what is now South Park, this wouldn't be here." He concluded by saying that through his hard work in moving this project to fruition, "Today should be Tim Kennedy Day."
Stachowski said that in large part, this is part of the "Shop in your own neighborhood mindset of Schroeder, who is opposed to big-box retailers that can't have community impact."
Higgins corroborated that thought by stating, "Improving our declining and aging infrastructure not only provides for safe and efficient travel for residents, it opens up new doors of opportunity for economic development."
Kennedy concluded, saying that this was a team effort. "All partners working together made the state focus toward the positive for this location," he said. he commended The South Park Avenue Renaissance Committee and South Buffalo Alive, non-profit groups that "work hard every single day". He pointed to their work with the Olmsted Circles, enormous award-winning flowerpots that line the avenue, and their Tim Russert's Children's Gardens.
The roadwork will also encompass portions of South Park North and Smith Street, with preliminary design work taking place in early 2009 and construction beginning in the fall of 2009.