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Canalside working to prevent future traffic jams

Chris Caya WBFO News

Some changes are on the way to help avoid a repeat of last weekend's massive traffic jam in downtown Buffalo.

Officials say the gridlock around the waterfront for more than an hour Saturday was caused by several events taking place simultaneously - including a baseball game, a concert at the arena, and an appearance by the world's largest duck.     

"We did not have any real sense that the big yellow duck was going to be as popular as it was," Sam Hoyt said. A member of the Erie Canal Harbor Corporation board that runs Canalside, Hoyt says, he doesn't want to diminish the serious concerns people raised about the traffic jam, but.

"It's a good problem to have when 100,000 people between the Key Bank Center, Canalside, Coca Cola Field are all converging on downtown Buffalo. And remember, on certain weekends and at night, you could be knocked over by a tumbleweed on many occasions. Not anymore. Downtown Buffalo is hopping," Hoyt said.  

To head off future issues, Hoyt says, new signs will be going up to direct visitors to and from Canalside. And to nearby - but overlooked parking lots. He says, people will also be encouraged to ride their bike - or Metro Rail.

"We want people to take the light rail. There's great park and ride programs throughout the light rail system," Hoyt said.   

Canalside will also be reaching out, Hoyt said, to the Buffalo Police and other venues to improve communication about all future large events downtown.