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West Community Workshop

Allentown/ Delaware,
Prospect Hill/ West Side,
Elmwood Village,
Lakeview/ Lower West Side


Assets: Local businesses, coffee shops, grocers; Olmstedian legacy; community organizations; historical properties; neighborhood gardens, farms, greenhouses; historical architecture; international residents.

Strengths: Grant and Ferry; Richmond; Bidwell parkway; Lafayette; the waterfront; Essex and Massachusetts; quiet residential streets; neighborhood parks; limited parking lots equals more walking.

Weaknesses: Vacant commercial properties on Grant; suburban style commercial lots; residential vacancies are a breeding ground for violence and drugs;late night student activity disrupts homeowners; traffic from Peace Bridge; lack of community sports facility; lack of playgrounds.

New Directions: More mixed uses along Delevan, Forest, Grant, Niagara, Essex and Pooley; small scale green space improvements on Parkdale, Gelston and Auburn; green spaces should be placed along Niagara, occupied factories should remain, vacant buildings should have retail and commercial activity; Scajaquada should be a parkway rather than an expressway, increase multi-modal opportunities; infill in residential blocks should maintain neighborhood character.


Assets: Historic neighborhoods; neighborhood churches; diversity of housing stock; arts and cultural activities; accessibility to both forms of public transportation; streetscape along Richmond; connections to Olmstead Park; commercial nodes.

Strengths: Cottage district; dense neighborhood fabric; Youville College; BNMC; bike paths along Richmond; mansions.

Weaknesses: Peace Bridge expansion; not enough multi-modal opportunities; closing of Gates Circle hospital; sidewalks along South Elmwood and Allen too small; new development instead of renovation of existing buildings; larger number convenient stores.

New Directions: Business development to foster job growth; turning vacant properties into community gardens; more urban farms or co-ops; wider sidewalks; zoning for backyard farming; mixed use that encourages outdoor seating.

Prospect Hill/West Side

Assets: Urban farms and community gardens; historic architectural buildings/ icons; Garden Walk area; historic churches; neighborhoods parks; Olmstead parkways; Cultural and arts centers; historic churches; public library; Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP).

Strengths: Density of housing fabric; growing home ownership; mixture of businesses; walkability; waterfront and neighborhood parks; tavern district; "Olmstead Corridor"; community involvement.

Weaknesses: Housing vacancy or deterioration on great streets; few options public transportation options; Peace Bridge and duty free; 190 on/off ramps on Niagara.

New Directions: Mixed use infill with height regulations on Niagara, Porter, near D'Youville, Connecticut, near Episcopal home; retail infill near Connecticut, Grant Street; integrate local green space along Rhode Island; limit surface parking; vacant lots could become pocket parks; neighborhood along Peace Bridge.

Elmwood Village

Assets: Bidwell Parkway; local cafes, boutiques; pedestrian friendly streets; gallery district; Linwood Parkway and other tree-lined streets; credit union; Delaware Park connections; local restaurants.

Strengths: Summer arts activities; pedestrian friendly neighborhoods; historical housing stock; historical architecture; stable occupancy.

Weaknesses: Vacancies and depreciated housing value on Potomac, Forest, Bullfeathers, Bird, Granger, and Auburn-Hoyt; high speed traffic on Harvard place, Delaware S curve, Linwood and Delavan; golf course at Delaware park is too big and under-used; Gates Circle is not pedestrian friendly.

New Directions: Mixed use to reinforce the walkable street character; more housing options for residents to "age in place"; open Gates Circle to a farmer's market; increase public transportation options along Elmwood and Main.

Lakeview/ Lower West Side

Assets:Olmstead Circles; proximity to downtown; community parks; local churches; ethnic restaurants; community organizations; historic landmarks; neighborhood fabric; Cottage Street architecture; cultural arts center; walkability.

Strengths: Convenience of local restaurants and shops; parks are well maintained and a great place for recreational activity; Niagara Street business district; home rehabilitation projects are reinforcing neighborhood character.

Weaknesses: Existing vacant housing; poorly paved roads; potential growth of the Peace Bridge into neighborhood; disrupting behavior on Chippewa; potential suburban development; shuttle buses to/from Kleinhan's; drug activity on Virginia.

New Directions: Increased green space, creation of urban retail areas; shops, restaurants and restrooms near LaSalle Park; adaptive reuse of existing buildings while adding new structures; streetscape improvements; encourage tree plantings; enforcement of recommendations.