Creating a green gateway along the Niagara River
Niagara Street is one of the city’s major commercial corridors, a highly utilized public transit route, a growing target for private investment, a rising employment hub, and a gateway to downtown. The street runs parallel to the Niagara River, but is disconnected from the water in terms of access and views. The Niagara Street corridor is home to diverse communities, all of which contribute to the heritage and culture of the city. The street is also known as “Avenida San Juan,” serving as the city’s Hispanic Heritage Corridor between Porter Avenue and Georgia Street. As a signature corridor of Buffalo, Niagara Street is being transformed from a high-speed thoroughfare for automobiles into a scenic, waterfront boulevard that is safe and welcoming for pedestrians and bicyclists.
The Niagara Street reconstruction project is a multi-phased redesign of the street from Niagara Square in downtown up to Ontario Street in Riverside/Black Rock. The project stands out as the longest green street in the city. Through a combination of green infrastructure elements including bump outs, rain gardens, and impervious surface reduction, the project reduces the stormwater volumes flowing to Buffalo’s combined sewer system where the overflow discharges directly to the Niagara River. Reducing impervious pavement and installing trees and green spaces allows for water to be captured before it enters the street and sewer system. Curb bump outs and bike lanes also make the street safer for pedestrians and bicyclists.