Just another Canalside headache

I have had just about enough of this nonsense. For more time than I wish to calculate I have been following the waterfront development in downtown Buffalo.

This was a great first step

When the Commercial Slip was opened I was overjoyed. It is a great interpretation of the rich history of Buffalo. All the while it was modern enough not to look like it had been pulled directly from 1867. Between the rewatered canal, the whipple-truss bridge and the two replica canal-era buildings, it was a step in the right direction. Not to mention there is plenty of signage around the area to keep one occupied for some time.

After that was put in I eagerly awaited the next step. And I waited, and waited and waited. While I waited the cobblestone streets were laid in their historic locations (despite the fact that the skyway cut parts of them off). Of course the preservationists exclaimed these streets were a hodgepodge of crap and took away from the district. Just a heads up on that one boys, you can’t take away something that doesn’t exist yet. I will say that the modern street signs look like ass down there, those are a mistake.bye funny part about how those street were laid is that the preservationists put up a stink so the streets stuck to the original grid but all they accomplished was a bunch of one-way avenues with no on-street parking. News flash, cars bring the people to your places.

This is the most asinine thing I have ever seen

Now here we are. It is 2011 and after plenty of redesigns the lawsuit brigade finally won. The faux canals will not be put in, rather the traditional canal path. You know what 90% of the people visiting this district will think of that victory? Not too much at all. Water in a canal is water in a damn canal no matter what path it follows. If there is nothing to do around the canals then it doesn’t really matter how they are built. In my opinion, so long as they put in some restaurants, bars and shopping it will make for a very cool district.

Of course that is where you run into yet another hurdle. The vocal minority has bitched and moaned enough to bring in a consultant who says to let the development happen naturally and to utilize the power of ten and triangulation and functional lawns. Seriously? Where do these people come from? What a load of horse……rhymes with hit.

When I am thinking of something to do in the summer I usually want to go somewhere that has something to do. I don’t go to a grassy field to sit on my ass, I can do that at home. Perhaps if this power of ten B.S. referred to ten bars or restaurants we might be getting somewhere.

There are plenty of people out there who understand the folly that is Canalside. Alan Bedenko and Andrew Kulyk of WNYMedia are two of them. They realize that creating a true destination needs to be the ultimate goal, unfortunately too many people look at it the wrong way.

I’m afraid the time to turn Buffalo’s waterfront around has passed us by. Now the whiny brats had gotten their way and will settle for a mediocre plan that will satisfy their egos. I for one, am embarrassed to know this is what our city is supporting.

2 thoughts on “Just another Canalside headache

  1. Andy Wulf August 24, 2011 / 6:01 pm

    You’re a sports writer, Chris. Presumably you chose that as a career because you know a lot about sports. Fine. Urban development has nothing to do with sports, and clearly, you know very little about urban development. Perhaps you should focus on sports and leave the development issues to the experts.


    • Chris Ostrander August 24, 2011 / 6:24 pm

      Based on the different cities that I have visited, and enjoyed, I have seen what Buffalo is missing bad the massive potential that lays in wait. My biggest problem with what is being done at Canalside is the lack of things to do. Every time I go I end up leaving after 15 minutes. Look at any city with a similar environment….there are THINGS there. It doesn’t matter what you’ve studied to realize that.


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