Letter: Using landscape architecture in infrastructure design | Letters


Recent plans produced by the New York State Department of Transportation for the redesign of Route 33 in downtown Buffalo reinforce my view that now is the time for a paradigm shift in how we, as taxpayers, let us finance the design of the urban space. Allowing traffic engineers to manage the design process severely limits opportunities and fair outcomes.

NYSDOT’s baseline for the redevelopment project is to have no impact on traffic. This is understandable given the singular focus of the discipline – traffic flow.

The way to land on a more comprehensive solution to a grave injustice that was constructed by decimating an Olmsted-designed multi-user promenade in favor of a sunken freeway is through a multidisciplinary discipline such as landscape architecture.

Landscape architecture takes a plethora of data beyond traffic counts and impact into the equation. A broad look at the project without predetermined outcomes would take into consideration the cultural impact, geography, urbanism, ecology, botany, psychology and history of the site and adjacencies well beyond the platform. form.

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I think if all of the above were taken into consideration, the renovation plan would look very different.

The agency should not be running this taxpayer-funded project. The focus should be on neighborhood restoration, the health and well-being of multiple user groups, and contributing to the legacy of the Olmsted urban form for this great city.

I am not convinced that a limited range, reviewed by traffic engineers, is conducive to the opportunity that the project represents and that is tragic.


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