Tomorrow night, there will be a Transportation Equity Town Hall meeting at the Grant Street Neighborhood Center in Buffalo from 7-9 pm. The event is co-sponsored by Buffalo Carshare, Citizens for Regional Transit, Green Options Buffalo, and members of the New York State Transportation Equity Alliance, a coalition of over 75 groups across New York State working to reform federal and state transportation policy.
Transportation equity is a particularly pressing issue for this Western New York city that has suffered dramatically during the economic downturn. Buffalo has the third-highest poverty level in the US, and 31% of households don’t own a car. Ironically, however, over 52% of the land in downtown Buffalo is allocated to parking, essentially subsidizing suburban access to the city via car. The community is divided, quite literally, by roads: Route 190 cuts off the waterfront on the westside, and Route 33 cuts off residential neighborhoods from the center. The city is ranked as one of the most dangerous metropolitan areas in the northeast for pedestrians, and yet, there is good news–Buffalo has been a leader in New York State in addressing this problem via the adoption of a Complete Streets ordinance in 2008.
This Town Hall is an opportunity to discuss and learn more about the federal and state policy agendas that will impact local transportation choices.