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Buffalo Place Supports Return of Cars to Main Street

By Mark Scott

Buffalo, NY – Buffalo Place is now on record in support of a proposal to return vehicular traffic to Main Street downtown.

Cars disappeared from Main Street downtown in the early 1980s, when Metro Rail and the pedestrian mall were built. But in the past couple of years, city officials have been exploring the possibility of restoring vehicular traffic. Buffalo Place Director Michael Schmand said it's all about revitalizing downtown, especially at night.

"The Pedestrian Mall works very well during daylight hours, especially during the summer months," Schmand said. "But at night, it's lonely, cold and a little bit desolate. We think that car traffic, mixed with the trains and pedestrians, would help increase the vitality of downtown Buffalo."

There are several options on the table. Wednesday, the Buffalo Place board of directors voted to support the one that would see both Metro Rail cars and vehicles sharing the same space. That is also the most expensive option, at an estimated $53 million.

"We believe there must be some federal grants available to improve downtown Buffalo's Main Street," Schmand said.

The Buffalo Place recommendation will be passed along to elected leaders in the city who will be making the ultimate decision on bringing back cars to Main Street.