Terrible Decisions Made In Western New York
Buffalo and Western New York have a tremendously rich history that has had a huge impact on America since the city's inception back in 1801. There isn't much that has happened in America that does not have a BUffalo connection, and we have plenty to show around the area to prove it.
Throughout the history of Western New York, there have been all sorts of events and decisions that have impacted our region. Some of those decisions were good, and some were great. With that, there are also all sorts of decisions that fall into the mistakes category, and there's no doubt that some of those choices have hurt the region over time. When that happens, like any bad idea we have, we sometimes wish we had a chance to go back and do it over again.
That said, I know for a fact that Buffalo has made a series of bad decisions that, maybe, seemed like a good idea at the time but have proven to be just plain dumb. Some of those dumb ideas fall into the terrible column.
The 5 Stupidest Things Western New York Has Done
Looking back at it all, we have made at least five terrible decisions in Buffalo's history:
5. Letting The Braves Leave Buffalo
In an amazing moment in Buffalo history, the city was awarded an NBA expansion franchise, and the Buffalo Braves took the court for the first time in October 1970 (the same year the Cleveland Cavaliers and Portland Trail Blazers also took the court for the first time). Unfortunately, the Braves tenure in Buffalo only lasted 8 years as they were sold and subsequently moved to California to eventually become the Los Angeles Clippers.
4. Expanding the University at Buffalo Campus into the Town of Amherst
After The University of Buffalo was absorbed into the SUNY system in 1962, the need to expand the school was realized pretty quickly. Instead of finding space within the city limits, then-Governor Nelson Rockefeller advocated for the state to purchase land in Amherst, where the current campus is.
3. Replacing Scajaquada Drive with the Scajaquada Expressway
The 1960s brought about the need to connect the newly completed Kensington Expressway, which was under construction, with the also newly completed Interstate 190. While this new divided highway made it easier to travel through Buffalo, it also caused significant damage to several Buffalo neighborhoods along with the original design of Delaware Park.
2. Bills Stadium Being Built in Orchard Park
The Bills were wildly successful during their AFL days, and many people have fond memories of attending games at the 46,000-seat War Memorial Stadium, sometimes called the Rockpile. After the NFL and AFL merger in the 1960s, NFL rules required Buffalo to have a larger facility. Instead of looking at available space within the city, officials from Erie County settled on a site in Orchard Park. Rich Stadium, largely financed by county Bonds, opened in 1973.
Buffalo and Western New York recently had the opportunity to correct a historical wrong, but guess what we did?
1. Building The Kensington Expressway Through Humboldt Parkway
This is, in my humble opinion, perhaps the dumbest thing we’ve done in Buffalo. The original Humboldt Parkway, which was described by its designer Frederick Law Olmsted as the widest and grandest street in Buffalo, was turned into a 6-lane below-grade highway, which also destroyed multiple neighborhoods that were populated with untold families and businesses. Construction, which started in 1958, took 13 years to finish and completely changed the landscape of Buffalo.
I wonder how life would be in Buffalo if any of these decisions went in another direction. We had the opportunity to fix another one of these errors with the Kensington Expressway project. Here's hoping Buffalo will do the right thing.
What about you? What do you think were bad decisions made by Buffalo?
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