Buffalo's Complete Streets Campaign

Everyone, Everywhere, Every way

In 2008, the City of Buffalo adopted a complete streets policy but did not integrate the ordinance into regular decision-making. Through the creation of the Complete Streets Coalition, we engage partners from different sectors to establish goals and strategies that reimagine our city’s streets to improve accessibility while providing social, economic, environmental and health benefits to our community.

Making people the priority as a key policy mandate to improve mobility

Moving policy to practice is often challenging. To be successful, an inclusive approach that develops and nurtures relationships while engaging all parties is essential to recognize early on. To this end, GObike Buffalo convened stakeholder organizations monthly in Complete Street Coalition meetings held in the offices of the City’s Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets to review project deliverables and provide guidance to the City of Buffalo on the implementation of policy, plans, and projects. Through this collaboration, we identified additional actions to meet our goal, which included a neighborhood outreach campaign and summit.

Project Highlights

Niagara Street Design

In 2012, we developed a conceptual design and report in partnership with coalition partners on coordinating funding and projects to create Niagara Street as a complete street (now under construction).

Bicycle Master Plan

The City of Buffalo Department of Public Works committed $50,000 to support a new bicycle master plan, completed in 2016.

10 Miles a Year

Mayor Brown committed to the implementation of 10 new miles of bicycle facilities per year. Today, the city has completed a total of 100 miles.

City Complete Streets Coordinator

In 2011, the City Common Council passed a resolution to establish a complete streets coordinator position. This position has not yet been funded.

Complete Streets Impact Study

In 2016, in collaboration with the University at Buffalo, GObike published a study on the impacts of complete street projects in the City of Buffalo demonstrating their success.

$1.8 Million Towards Catalyst Projects

In 2016, the City of Buffalo was awarded a transportation alternatives program (TAP) grant for $1.8 million to implement the catalyst projects outlined in the bicycle master plan. To date, draft designs have been reviewed by the bicycle and pedestrian advisory board, but no plans have been implemented.

Campaign Accomplishments

Complete Streets Coalition

A cornerstone of the campaign was the creation of a coalition to communicate shared goals, develop work plans, and create processes for moving Complete Streets forward from policy to regular procedure in the City of Buffalo. Each participating organization has a vested interest or responsibility in the planning and implementation of our build environment and includes: the City of Buffalo offices of Strategic Planning and the Department of Public Works, GObike Buffalo, Buffalo Green Fund, Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus, Buffalo Niagara Waterkeeper, Buffalo Place, Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council, Local Initiatives Support Corporation, NYS Department of Transportation, Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Partners for a Livable WNY, Wendel Duscherer, the University at Buffalo and others.

Neighborhood Outreach Campaign

A Neighborhood Outreach Campaign was developed to raise the community’s consciousness on the need and vision for complete streets and how they can establish Buffalo as a healthy, environmentally sustainable, community-friendly city. GObike hired a local marketing/communication firm to develop an integrated outreach strategy aimed at expanding our reach to build public awareness and, ultimately, on the ground results.

Bicycle Lane Request Form

A bicycle lane request form to gauge public support for biking and identify locations for bicycle infrastructure implementation was part of the complete street effort. The three streets that needed the most improvement for bicyclists based upon responses from the request were Main, Delaware, and Elmwood Cumulatively, a total of 150 roads and intersections were recorded.

Complete Streets Summit

A two-day symposium highlighted the role of Complete Streets in promoting sustainability and economic development in the City of Buffalo and its surrounding regions. Understanding that the challenges facing us are multifaceted, transcend municipal boundaries, and affect all of us, regardless of how we choose to get around – by car, bike, transit, or our own two feet – the summit took a look at confronting these challenges.

Complete Streets Outreach Campaign Videos