Buffalo, NY – Mayor Byron W. Brown reminded drivers that the City’s $8 million Downtown Entertainment District infrastructure and streetscape upgrade program kicked off today.
“These upgrades include repaving, complete sidewalk replacement and new curbing, as well as new City-owned LED street lighting, benches, plantings and other amenities. The goal is to make the Downtown Entertainment District a more attractive, friendly, and engaging place to be,” Mayor Brown said.
The first phase began this morning along Chippewa Street, between S. Elmwood Avenue and Franklin Street, closing the street to vehicular traffic. Intersections at S. Elmwood, Delaware Ave. and Franklin St. will remain open for North-South traffic.
Improvements along Chippewa Street will include new expanded sidewalks and special catenary lighting, and streetscape to accommodate increased outdoor activity along the downtown hotspot.
The City is working in coordination with entertainment district businesses to maintain pedestrian access throughout the duration of the work and all businesses will remain open.
Infrastructure and aesthetic improvements will also take place on Franklin and Court street. Work on Franklin Street will start on Monday, April 12th between Court to Huron Streets.
The Downtown Entertainment District project is the first of several infrastructure improvement projects the City’s Department of Public Works, Parks & Streets has planned for the 2021 construction season.
Broadway Market vendors had a solid 2021 Easter shopping season, following the cancellation of the 2020 holiday period due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“The Broadway Market’s successful Easter 2021 season has come to a close and I want to thank all those who came to shop, and all the vendors who worked to rekindle the Market’s tradition,” Market Executive Director Kathleen Peterson said.
Peterson said most vendors weren’t sure how many shoppers would come out to shop during the continuing pandemic. Many reported sales volumes consistent with 2019, with some exceeding expectations.
Shopper traffic was consistent Easter Week with approximately 2,000 visitors per day and peaking with near capacity crowds on Good Friday. The Easter Bunny was a big hit with over 700 pictures taken.
The Market strictly followed Covid-safety rules and vendors gave feedback that the spacing of stands, and mask requirements made them, and their shoppers, feel comfortable, according to Peterson.
“There is only one Broadway Market and I’m very optimistic the positive Easter experience will bring shoppers back to 999 Broadway year-round,” Peterson said.
The historic Market is open Monday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., with more than 30 full-time vendors.
Mayor Brown today was among the speakers at a national “virtual” discussion on Water Infrastructure lead by EPA Administrator Michael Regan. In his remarks, Mayor noted that as a member of the African American Mayors Association, he is excited about the potential of President Biden’s sweeping plans to modernize urban infrastructure and uplift communities. “Our City is truly blessed as Buffalo is surrounded by freshwater, located on the shores of Lake Erie and the Niagara River. As an older, waterfront city with a proud history, we do have our challenges when it comes to maintaining and upgrading infrastructure,” Mayor Brown said. “President Biden’s unprecedented ‘American Jobs Plan’ to infuse $111 Billion into our nation’s water infrastructure, will go a long way towards re-establishing the Federal Government as a strong partner in delivering this precious resource to our people in Buffalo.”
Mayor Brown told Regan and other EPA officials that federal funding is essential to the City of Buffalo as it works to keep water affordable for all Buffalo residents, while balancing the need to invest a half-billion dollars to combat sewer overflows and replace also over 30,000 lead water service lines.
“The President’s plan would build on the equity focus that my Administration has promoted, building equitable water infrastructure that will grow the economy, spur development, create jobs, and provide for generational investment,” Mayor Brown said. “As Mayor of the City of Buffalo, I am keenly aware of the systemic and inequitable situations that exist that must be eliminated. We will use this planned funding to invest in our cities, providing the economic engine to grow our workforce and move our nation forward.”
Although the continuing pandemic is limiting traditional Dyngus Day festivities, small, Covid-smart gatherings are happening around the City of Buffalo. Mayor Brown encourages residents to wear masks and social distance.
Buffalo’s City Hall dome and BuffaloLIT partners will be lit up in red and white to celebrate Buffalo’s large Polish-American population and rich Polish culture and history.