Complete Streets Pop-Up Project at MLK Park Demonstrates How Low Cost Changes Can Enhance Neighborhoods
Historic Olmsted Park transformed with bike lanes, traffic calming measures to create safer, more bike- and pedestrian-friendly streetscapes On Buffalo’s East side.
Buffalo, N.Y., August 26, 2017 – GObike Buffalo and a number of community partners unveiled the first in a series of Complete Streets Pop-Up projects today at Martin Luther King, Jr. Park to demonstrate how low-cost changes in streetscapes can bring about impactful neighborhood improvements. The Pop-Up project was created in response to community feedback and designed to demonstrate how short-term enhancements can dramatically enhance neighborhoods, protect pedestrians and bicyclists, and encourage more livable, dynamic neighborhoods.
The temporary and semi-permanent changes include reducing the traffic pattern through MLK Park on Fillmore Avenue from four lanes to two, and adding buffered bike lanes and a median to the street. Community members have painted planters to be installed temporarily to create a separation between motor vehicle traffic and the bicycle lanes, helping to calm traffic in the park and visually enhance the corridor. The planters include inspirational quotes from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and are painted with the colors of the Pan-African flag, honoring the African American community's many contributions to the fabric of the American experience.
Justin Booth, Executive Director of GObike Buffalo commented, “This is a great example of how we can collaboratively address needs articulated by local residents with low-cost, high-impact solutions. We hope that these demonstration projects will inspire permanent changes that can greatly impact Buffalo’s neighborhoods.”
"The transformation of this street represents the power of our citizens to affect meaningful change through collaboration, vision and civic investment," said NYS Assemblywoman Crystal Peoples-Stokes. "Improving safety and access through Martin Luther King, Jr. Park supports the health and vitality of Buffalo's East Side, and enhances the value of this park ― an important link in Buffalo's singular Olmsted Parks System ― as a community resource and public recreational space."
The project was made possible with support from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Legacy Funds at the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo and the P² Collaborative of Western New York, and was installed by volunteers from the local neighborhood, GObike Buffalo, the Eastside Bike Club, Slow Roll Buffalo, Jes Breathe, Metropolitan United Methodist Church, Brian K. Lewis Funeral Home and the King Urban Life Center. Local resident empowerment was a critical element of the Pop-Up project as resident input was used to determine the focus and scope of the project, to create action plans and to install the temporary street features that make streets safer for everyone.
The City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, the Mayor's Office, and Councilmember Ulysees Wingo are supporting the project with the cooperation of the Buffalo Police Department. Temporary street features will remain in place until Nov. 1 or the first snowfall of the year. Additional Complete Streets Pop-Up installations are planned in the Hermann-Best neighborhood in cooperation with the King Urban Life Center, and in the Paderewski-Fillmore area in partnership with Greater East Side Fields of Dreams Block Clubs.
GObike Buffalo promotes, educates, and encourages biking and active transportation options to create positive impacts on health, our environment, our streets and the overall quality of life for all residents.