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Thread: Lefty and Grump. April 1982. Buffalo Subway Mentioned

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    Lefty and Grump. April 1982. Buffalo Subway Mentioned

    Lefty and Grump. April 1982. Buffalo Subway Mentioned

    Check it out




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    WNY, thanks for sharing. It was an idea conceived in the late 50’s or early 60’s, back when Buffalo was a large vibrant city. But then the Democrsts consolidated control of the city under Mayor Sedita and the death spiral began. It’s amazing how reports such as this one always couch their language...probably out of fear of offending. Suppose instead it read “ an above-ground system that will include ‘extreme tunneling that will take years to complete, thus denying customer access to local businesses, that will change local transportation habits in ways that are likely irreversible, and will require the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars in a city that is already hemorrhaging population and will never be able to support it.’” Think anyone would’ve listened then? Not here, where the solution to every problem seems to be “Build something quick. Doesn’t matter what it is or if it will work just build it!”

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    Quote Originally Posted by grump View Post
    WNY, thanks for sharing. It was an idea conceived in the late 50’s or early 60’s, back when Buffalo was a large vibrant city. But then the Democrsts consolidated control of the city under Mayor Sedita and the death spiral began. It’s amazing how reports such as this one always couch their language...probably out of fear of offending. Suppose instead it read “ an above-ground system that will include ‘extreme tunneling that will take years to complete, thus denying customer access to local businesses, that will change local transportation habits in ways that are likely irreversible, and will require the expenditure of hundreds of millions of dollars in a city that is already hemorrhaging population and will never be able to support it.’” Think anyone would’ve listened then? Not here, where the solution to every problem seems to be “Build something quick. Doesn’t matter what it is or if it will work just build it!”
    That's because since unions started taking control of things it was always more about the jobs it created rather than the return on the investment. It's still that way today.

    I wonder what Buffalo would have looked like if they would have kept the streetcar system rather than removing it in the name of progress. What the auto industry did the US was one of the biggest cons in history.

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    Leftie, I think I’ve mentioned this on other threads but what the hell, I’ll mention it again. When they were tearing up downtown to build the system they ripped up Washington Street and rebuilt the roadbed as part of the process because Washington St. was going to have to absorb the traffic displaced from Main St. As they dug up Washington St. they tore out the old streetcar tracks. Seems to me that cars gave individuals freedom and mobility unprecedented in human history. Not bad for a world-wide con job.

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    Quote Originally Posted by grump View Post
    Leftie, I think I’ve mentioned this on other threads but what the hell, I’ll mention it again. When they were tearing up downtown to build the system they ripped up Washington Street and rebuilt the roadbed as part of the process because Washington St. was going to have to absorb the traffic displaced from Main St. As they dug up Washington St. they tore out the old streetcar tracks. Seems to me that cars gave individuals freedom and mobility unprecedented in human history. Not bad for a world-wide con job.

    My understanding was the steetcar system was done by the time the subway started construction.

    Let me ask you this. What do you think would have been the result if, instead of building the single line subway down Main street they instead used the beltline and made that light rail back in the day?

    It would not have required any major road work. It would have provided access to 3x the number of neighborhoods to downtown (albeit a longer path) and it could have helped the East Side all of these years. Just the single loop, running in both directions, 24/7.


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    I didn’t make myself clear...the streetcar rails were buried under layers of paving materials when they must’ve simply paved over them after the system went belly up. I remember it to this day because an old timer that I worked with back then was with me and launched into a tirade about the waste that was the subway and why didn’t they just keep the streetcars. A loop almost certainly would be better than the end product we got. Could it be any worse? It might’ve led to more interconnection through the whole area “down city”. However, one thing I’ve learned since I’ve lived here is that there are significant and influential groups in this area for whom buzz words like “interconnection” are nice sounding news bites but, in fact, are the last things they want to see in reality. As for the longer trip, I don’t know if you’ve had the pleasure, but it’s a ride from Kennedy Airport into Manhattan on the subway. It’s been crowded every time I’ve done it.
    Last edited by grump; March 16th, 2018 at 11:56 AM.

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    Tony Fracasso - Admin
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    My grandfather used to tell me about the street cars and the routes. Buffalo was pretty well connected.

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