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Update on Plan to Return Vehicle Traffic to Main Street | News

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Update on Plan to Return Vehicle Traffic to Main Street
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Buffalo, NY- It's been 2-years now since the 700-block of Main Street in Buffalo was completely redeveloped to the tune of just over 2-million dollars.

City leaders say that helped bring in new investments and business opportunities. They want to continue that momentum by soon returning vehicle traffic on the rest of Main Street.

For decades now the 600-block of Main Street has been virtually free of regular vehicular traffic. This forced many businesses to shut their doors for good.

Mayor Byron Brown says all that will change once the next phase of redeveloping Main Street begins later this fall. 

"It's going to be a $8-million project, and it's going to continue the process of making Main Street in Buffalo one of the most complete streets in the entire State of New York," said the Mayor.

That includes restoring vehicle traffic to all of Main Street. Steven Stepniak, the city's Commissioner for the Department of Public Works, told 2 On Your Side soon cars will be driven on the same rail bed used by the light rail trains.

 "The reason they're sharing that bed, it allows additional spacing for the parking that we're going to include," said Stepniak.

Mayor Brown added, "We're going to add approximately 60 new parking spaces. We're also going to add drop off locations for the theaters."

The Mayor went on to say this will be paid for by using the $15-million the city won in a national competition for federal grants. Brown says the city also has $21-million already in hand to pay for the revamping of the 500-block of Main Street. 

"By reopening Main Street to vehicular traffic, we will begin to return retail to downtown Buffalo which literally could bring hundreds of jobs for residents of Buffalo and Western New York," said Brown.

Work on the 600-block is expected to last late into next year. Right after that work will then begin on the 500-block. The city says the entire Main Street project is expected to be completed in 5-years with minimal interruptions to the downtown's traffic patterns.

Click here to see animated video of that Main Street will look like after the project is completed.

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