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Old 03-21-2017, 09:15 AM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 422,325 times
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From the Buffalo News By Robert J. McCarthy Sun, Mar 19, 2017

Amherst never wanted it and doesn't deserve it. Its far cheaper to use what was originally envisioned to extend to into the Tonawanda's along the existing old Erie/Erie Lackawanna Niagara Falls branch corridor that has been turn into another bike path.

But, the other improvement for the DL&W terminal would be more than welcome considering the vacant space on the 2nd level.

Quote:
President Trump’s proposed budget eliminates a key transit funding program and points a “dagger” at the possibility of extending Buffalo’s Metro Rail to Amherst, according to Sen. Charles E. Schumer.

And Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority officials warn that a separate plan to extend Metro Rail at the other end of the line into the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad terminal at the foot of Main Street also is imperiled by Trump’s proposal to discontinue another funding source pegged for the $42 million project.

Taken together, Schumer says, the president's proposals cast doubt on Trump's campaign promises to champion infrastructure development throughout the nation.

“It would be terrible for Buffalo,” the New York Democrat said in a phone interview with The Buffalo News.

Trump's spending plan contains no provision for the Federal Transit Administration’s “New Starts” program, Schumer said, and that presents a major obstacle to obtaining federal funds for the proposed $1.2 billion Metro Rail extension to the University at Buffalo’s North Campus and beyond.

“New Starts is geared toward projects like the Amherst-to-Buffalo connection,” the senator said, pointing to $600,000 he secured for the project’s initial studies a few years ago

The analysis of the proposal to double the Metro Rail’s existing 6.4 mile system demonstrates why the project should be embraced by the new administration, he said. He pointed to conclusions predicting $1.7 billion in development along the route, an increase in current daily ridership from 20,000 to about 45,000, and a $310 million increase in property values that will raise tax revenues 32 percent for the City of Buffalo and Town of Amherst.

“That’s job, jobs, jobs,” Schumer said, “and the New Starts program is key to getting this done.”

Kimberley A. Minkel, NFTA executive director, described the development as “extremely disappointing.” She said Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s backing for the project in his January State of the State address provided the most optimism for an Amherst extension since the project was dropped from original Metro Rail plans almost 40 years ago.

“If they go through with this, it pretty much stops this project dead in its tracks,” Minkel said.

An NFTA Metro Rail car leaves the former DL&W Terminal, the upper level of which has been the subject of many reuse proposals. (Derek Gee/News file photo)

In addition, she said the president’s plan to nix federal TIGER grants will produce a more immediate impact on the DL&W extension, planned for implementation within the next few years. The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery grants, which already funded the program of returning traffic to portions of Main Street, were planned to pay for extending Metro Rail into the former passenger terminal, redeveloping it for commercial use and connecting it to the adjacent KeyBank Center.

The plan is seen as a bright spot in future waterfront development and also was highlighted by Cuomo in his State of the State address along with the promise of $22 million in Buffalo Billion II money from Albany.

If the president's budget is approved without changes, Minkel said, the cost for localities planning such projects would probably prove overwhelming.

“It would put a tremendous burden on the localities,” she said, “where previously these would be funded by the federal government.”

Minkel said transit advocates like those at the NFTA also are disappointed in Trump’s first budget because, as a candidate, he promised a new federal emphasis on infrastructure development.

“It seems the focus is on the automobile,”
she said. “Certainly, roads and bridges have to be repaired."

“But are there other ways for people to move around?” she added. “The value of transit cannot be overestimated.”

Schumer, the Senate minority leader, believes the projects still could be saved. He said rural Republicans from the West have previously recognized the need for federal support of transit. He said efforts to save the funding programs occupy the “top of the list.”

“Transit has always had bipartisan support, and even Lindsey Graham has said this budget is dead on arrival,” he said of the influential Republican senator from South Carolina.
Attached Thumbnails
Trump budget threatens Metro Rail extensions to Amherst, DL&W terminal-dlw-terminal.jpg  
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:20 AM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 422,325 times
Reputation: 430
From the Buffalo News Thu, Jan 12, 2017 By Robert J. McCarthy ;

Quote:
Metro Rail extension to Amherst is more likely today than at any time since first proposed back in the 1970s now that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced state support for the project.

Transit commissioners are expected later this month to approve rail over express bus service following a yearlong, $1 million study.

A rendering of plans for the Metro Rail station at the University at Buffalo's North Campus in Amherst, part of the proposal to add 6.5 miles to the line, for a total of just under 13 miles.

Kimberley A. Minkel, executive director of the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, said she also expects the board will adopt a route that extends underground trains more than one mile north of University Station to a point near Northtowns Plaza, where the line will resurface and proceed north along Niagara Falls Boulevard, then swing eastward on Maple Road to the University at Buffalo’s North Campus.

Cost is estimated at $1.2 billion.

Minkel noted approval of the federal government and its current 50 percent share of the cost remains an important hurdle, though the federal funding share could increase under the Trump administration's expected infrastructure initiatives. But the governor’s commitment to back the project offers the most significant milestone for the system since its original scope was pared to its current 6.4-mile length in the early 1980s, she said.

“This commitment moves from the 1970s idea to reality,” she said, noting the original concept of Metro Rail extending to UB’s North Campus.

“The timing is perfect,” she added. “Millennials are the age group we most want to attract and retain, and they look to areas with a robust transit system.”

Though the NFTA studied various forms of enhanced bus service, it will now seek federal and state funding for the 6.5-mile rail extension, bringing the total line to just under 13 miles. Minkel said the authority’s extensive public input process demonstrated a preference for rail’s “one seat” option.

“That was overwhelming from our stakeholders,” she said. “There was a lot of conversation about not getting off one vehicle and onto another. That helps from the time standpoint.”

Minkel also noted that the authority considered a Millersport Highway alternative to reach UB’s North Campus, but prefers the Niagara Falls Boulevard-Maple Road plan, though details must yet be finalized. The selected route also offers a strong economic justification, projecting a $310 million increase in property values that will raise property tax revenues 32 percent for the City of Buffalo and Town of Amherst.

Other projections include a potential $1.7 billion development or redevelopment of 864 acres along the route, and an increase of daily ridership from the current 20,000 to about 45,000, while also directly linking UB’s three campuses.

Minkel added that the study predicts significant reduction of traffic congestion, environmental benefits, lessening the need for downtown parking, reduced household transportation expenses, and the overall safety of taking public transit as opposed to driving.

The state’s embrace of the project also significantly enhances its funding chances in Washington, according to Rep. Brian Higgins, who reiterated his plans to champion any infrastructure bill the Trump administration proposes.

“There are very, very positive aspects to what the governor talked about, and now it’s incumbent on this delegation to makes these projects a reality,” Higgins said. “The needs of the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus have breathed new life into the light rail rapid transit system.

The proposed rail station near the Boulevard Mall. The route through the Maple Road-Niagara Falls Boulevard corridor is expected to spur an increase in property values.

“It was probably built at the time for the wrong reasons,” he added. “But this is the new Buffalo, and it could very well have relevance for the first time in its existence.”

The next step in the project’s development, to be financed by the federal and state governments, involve studying environmental considerations, cost and an exact route.

Minkel and Higgins also believe Cuomo’s inclusion of a Metro Rail extension into the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad Terminal in his State of the State message bodes well for a project expected to be finished as early as 2019 or 2020.

That $42 million project will include a new station at the DL&W terminal, where Metro Rail’s yard and shops complex is located on the ground floor. But plans call for escalators to whisk passengers to the cavernous trainshed on the second floor, which the NFTA views as ripe for development.

Adapting the terminal’s approximately 85,000 square feet on the second floor and connecting it to the adjacent KeyBank Center could result in almost $13 million worth of development, according to the study.
Attached Thumbnails
Trump budget threatens Metro Rail extensions to Amherst, DL&W terminal-extension-metrorail-.jpg   Trump budget threatens Metro Rail extensions to Amherst, DL&W terminal-nfta-map.jpg  
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Old 03-21-2017, 09:35 AM
 
1,560 posts, read 629,040 times
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At some point we simply can't afford everything we want. There isn't enough money to go around. There is a reason NY has some of the highest taxes and fees in the entire country. Politicians LOVE spending other people's money,


Would more light rail be nice? Sure of course.

Is it essential? Nope. Do we NEED it? Nope.


We can't even get our idiot legislators to agree on ride sharing for the rest of NY.
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Old 03-23-2017, 06:07 AM
 
2,998 posts, read 4,700,457 times
Reputation: 2106
Quote:
Originally Posted by drinkthekoolaid View Post
At some point we simply can't afford everything we want. There isn't enough money to go around. There is a reason NY has some of the highest taxes and fees in the entire country. Politicians LOVE spending other people's money,


Would more light rail be nice? Sure of course.

Is it essential? Nope. Do we NEED it? Nope.


We can't even get our idiot legislators to agree on ride sharing for the rest of NY.
Right on or a new peace bridge.
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Old 03-23-2017, 09:21 AM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 422,325 times
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Nothing wrong with what is there. Anyone that has been here all or most of their adult like knows the problem is with customs, not the bridge. New isn't always better. No more than we need new roads.
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Old 03-23-2017, 10:05 AM
 
1,560 posts, read 629,040 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post
Nothing wrong with what is there. Anyone that has been here all or most of their adult like knows the problem is with customs, not the bridge. New isn't always better. No more than we need new roads.
I actually agree with you. It doesn't matter how much capacity a bridge has when there is a major jam up at customs. All it would do is get people to line up at customs quicker it wouldn't really accomplish much.

Customs doesn't have enough processing capacity or too complex of a process in its current setup.
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Old 03-23-2017, 02:37 PM
 
Location: The City of Buffalo!
937 posts, read 422,325 times
Reputation: 430
I failed to mention the other real problem: Trucks!
There are way to many of them on the Bridge and on all of aour highways.
The bridge that needs replacing in the CN railroad bridge in Black Rock from a single track to double track. With the closure of the old Michigan Central bridge in Niagara Falls years ago, everything has to cross on a single tracked bridge. Now that IS a bottleneck.
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Old 12-03-2017, 11:57 PM
 
384 posts, read 123,562 times
Reputation: 558
Metrorail should extend well beyond Amherst and out through Depew and Lancaster out to Darien Lake. It would be a great way to alleviate traffic issues and reduce drinking and driving during the popular summer concerts there. I also think that four additional routes should be added running north to Lewiston, south to Springville, northeast to Lockport, and southeast to East Aurora, with park and ride lots in all those locations.
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Old 12-04-2017, 04:45 AM
 
Location: Heart of Dixie
712 posts, read 397,467 times
Reputation: 1207
Quote:
Originally Posted by droc31 View Post
Metrorail should extend well beyond Amherst and out through Depew and Lancaster out to Darien Lake. It would be a great way to alleviate traffic issues and reduce drinking and driving during the popular summer concerts there. I also think that four additional routes should be added running north to Lewiston, south to Springville, northeast to Lockport, and southeast to East Aurora, with park and ride lots in all those locations.
At the rate this area moves, a project like this would take 50 years.
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Old 12-04-2017, 05:36 AM
 
56,569 posts, read 80,870,855 times
Reputation: 12499
Could heavy rail routes be used similar to what OnTrack was in Syracuse?
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