In 2014, Erdman Anthony handled the design for the reconstruction of 0.8 miles of Elmwood Avenue in Buffalo, NY, from the Scajaquada Expressway (State Route 198) to West Delavan Avenue, and of 0.4 miles of Forest Avenue, from Richmond Avenue to Lincoln Parkway. The project area was near numerous well-known destinations, including Buffalo State College, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Delaware Park, and Elmwood Avenue’s commercial strip.
Our team investigated various design layouts to improve safety for drivers, bicyclists, and pedestrians. Once a design alternative was selected, our team proceeded with a detailed highway design.
During the process of creating project alternatives, the heavy pedestrian volume generated by Buffalo State, the commercial/entertainment district, and the galleries and museums required special attention. Among the alternatives the team investigated was replacing the signalized intersections with roundabouts. However, budgetary and right-of-way constraints prevented that from becoming a final option. Ultimately, a new coordinated traffic-signal system was installed to improve traffic flow.
Our team also proposed the idea of installing an off-street bicycle and pedestrian path. The path would be constructed within the right-of-way in a wide grass section on the west side of Elmwood Avenue and Forest Avenue. The path would not only serve the heavy pedestrian traffic in the area, but would fill in a missing portion of the city’s overall bikeway plan.
This concept drew rave reviews from the city and community groups.
Other aspects of this project included separating the storm sewer from the combined storm/sanitary system and performing topographic survey and mapping, data collection and analysis, accident analysis, capacity analyses, soil and pavement evaluation, analysis of several design alternatives, grading and drainage design, and utility coordination.
This project also involved traffic signage, pavement markings, street lighting, landscaping, pavement design, maintenance of traffic, construction inspection services, and context-sensitive design solutions.
Our team performed the required environmental studies, which involved coordination with the State Historic Preservation Office, and handled noise, air-quality, and visual-impact assessments. The project also included performing geotechnical survey and mapping and evaluating social, economic, and environmental considerations for each of the design alternatives.
Erdman Anthony was involved with the public during the course of the project, including coordinating with an advisory committee and participating in public meetings and a public hearing.
Ultimately, the project improved safety and aesthetics throughout the Elmwood Avenue area and established a gateway to the city of Buffalo.