To lay a foundation for future land use decisions, workshop participants were asked to assess the current dynamics in their neighborhoods. Participants identified strong blocks that should remain unchanged, weak blocks that could benefit from change and areas where there are transportation issues. Feel free to explore the results in the interactive map above.
After diagnosing strengths and weaknesses, participants were asked to suggest some "new directions" for blocks that they thought were in need of change. Participants pointed to areas where there should be more green space, new residential development, a better mix of uses, increased retail activity and additional business opportunities. Click on the links below to explore the results by the type of new land use direction.
Assets: Riverside Park; Niagara River; Riverside HS; School 60; School 65; Flying Bison Brewery; Businesses along Tonawanda and Ontario; Engine #26; Riverside Park; J.H. Williams park; Churches; Strawberry Island.
Strengths: Riverside Park; Niagara St.; strong residential streets Beatrice, Henrietta, Evelyn, Seabrook, Belmont, Albemarle, Elgas, Briggs, Crowley, Fuller, Philadelphia, Prairie, Oregon; Convenient and walkable neighborhood center - Tonawanda St. and Ontario St.
Weaknesses: Vacant lots and abandoned buildings; delis selling drug paraphernalia and alcohol; I-190 cuts of access to river; absentee landlords; brownfields; disinvestment along Ontario St.; vacant storefronts along Tonawanda St.; lack of investment in Shaffer Village Housing; Niagara St. and Ontario St. is too auto-oriented.
New directions: Develop more neighborhood green space; redevelop Shaffer Village to fit character of the neighborhood; develop business centers in place of large dilapidate buildings and brownfields; invest in bike paths; transition to more one-family homes; develop more mixed use-along Ontario St. and Tonawanda St.; make commercial plazas less auto-oriented; provide more parking, but behind buildings.
Assets: Towpath Park; Squaw Island; Boat Launch; churches and religious centers; Hungarian Social Hall; Black Rock Heritage Garden; local restaurants; Erie Canal Locks; Market Park; International Railroad Bridge.
Strengths: Strong residential streets - Dearborn, East, Peoria, Garfield, portions of Guernsey and Thompson; Niagara St. business district.
Weaknesses: Vacant lots and abandoned buildings; absentee landlords; drugs; I-190 cuts off neighborhood from the river; storage businesses out of character with the neighborhood; illegal dumping; pornography store; auto-oriented retail.
New directions: Use abandoned rail corridor for recreation and open space; covert land along Arthur to green space; redevelop corner of Rano and Tonawanda to include retail as well as industrial; use Black Rock Academy for neighborhood school or youth facility; strengthen retail along Niagara St., but minimize parking impact.
Assets: Wegmans; art studios; Tops Plaza; churches; bike paths; informal green spaces; Buffalo State; local businesses; Legion Post 1041.
Strengths: Strong residential in core of the neighborhood - Germain to Reservation; strong residential off on Elmwood - Woodette, Beaumaris, Elmview; Amherst St. Businesses; Businesses at Elmwood Ave. and Amherst St.; access to recreation - bike path and parks; Access to grocery store - Tops and Wegmans.
Weaknesses: Drug activity; too many multi-family houses; brownfields; graffiti and disinvestment; vacant buildings and lots.
New directions: Strengthen mixed-use at Grant and Amherst; build new commercial up to sidewalk, zero setbacks; develop an urban business center along Chandler; increase investment in bike paths; develop a mix of medium lot residential and green space behind Tops Plaza; connect Buffalo State and Wegmans with a pedestrian bridge.
Assets: Rebecca Park; local businesses; Renovation Church; Grabiarz School; police station; Northwest Community Center; Extreme Wheels; Post Office; Cantalician Center.
Strengths: Strong residential blocks - Rebecca, Clayton, Ruhl, Kofler, Sayre; stable businesses along Hinman; neighborhood businesses at Hertel and Military.
Weaknesses: Disinvestment in Jasper Parrish, LaSalle Courts and Kissling Properties apartments; drugs, vacant buildings; vandalism; poor lighting along streets.
New directions: Develop more residential behind Home Depot - like Rebecca Park; develop traditional mixed-use along Hertel, west of Elmwood; fill in Hertel west of Military with urban business center; develop green space at Elmwood and Hertel; create formal green space behind police station - dog park, playgrounds.