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Our 'New' Main Street? | News

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Our 'New' Main Street?
Our 'New' Main Street?

Is it just me, or is one particular block of Main Street in downtown Buffalo looking more like 1980's NYC? With all the renovations and construction going on, one block seems to be doing something wrong.

The block of Main I'm referring to is between Mohawk St. and Court St./Lafayette Square. No matter what day or hour it is, you will find someone who doesn't seem quit right in the mind begging for money, wanting to sell 'smoke', sleeping on the sidewalk, or on a bench, screaming among them self, practically 'living' in Lafayette Square or in the so called 'Mohawk Park'.

As a downtown worker for ten years this month, I don't ever recall this block looking this bad as it does now. I've contacted Buffalo Place and City Hall. The only response I get, 'The city and police are aware'. ....So what does this mean?

Police presence is there. We notice a police car or two sitting in front of Lafayette Square, yet still see the 'crazies' and homeless beggars up and down Main St. harassing daily workers and visitor's. If and when the officers are on foot or bike, the loiters then scatter to another location till it's clear again.

Take for example, a Saturday afternoon, which is when I took these photos at around 3pm. One guy is sitting in front of the Parole Office screaming profanity while asking people who walk past for 'change', next door at the boarded former Baker's Shoe Store, another man is sleeping on the sidewalk. Mind you, out of town visitor's are walking around, wedding photos are being taken down the street, and THIS is the norm here?

I'm simply not complaining about the 'presence', but the fact you can't walk down this block or sit down at any of the benches or in Lafayette Sqaure at any given time with out being harrased more than once is the issue here. How do we expect visitor's to enjoy our downtown when people who live and work downtown can not even enjoy it?

On a side note, has anyone else noticed, that this problem increased as soon as the Parole Office, Drug Addiction Office, Housing Assistance Office, and so on have opened all on this one block?So, my question is. Who at City Hall or if any downtown group approved such offices to move so close to one another on the first floor all on the same block? Especially on MAIN STREET?

If we are ever to turn around this block and downtown as a whole, which many people are trying to do, THIS block needs to be re-done fast. With the Lafayette renovations to be done in April and work on the former National Fuel building is to start soon as it becomes a Hilton-Garden Inn, we need to clean up this block before more out of towners stay in that area and fear to walk around as some of these homeless people are obviously mentally deranged. Who would want to walk around at night knowing these crazies are out and about during the day?


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