The City of Buffalo Department of Public Works, Parks and Streets designated Watts as the prime consultant for the Niagara Street Rehabilitation Project, Phases 3, 4 and 5. All three phases will be concurrent during construction, making the 3.3 mile corridor the longest length project to be completed by DPW. This project is among the DPW’s most ambitious undertakings and is directed toward making Niagara Street a true Complete Street–one that is lively, vibrant, and safe, and that attracts residents and businesses, catalyzes investment, and generates activity.
The Niagara Street corridor is in the midst of a transformative process from an industrial corridor to a vibrant destination that befits its waterfront proximity and recent increased level of private investment. Watts is leading a team of consultants to transform Niagara Street into a multimodal corridor that serves pedestrians, bicycles, transit, and motor vehicles in a safe and functional manner by use of traffic calming, pavement rehabilitation, curb bump-outs, improved crosswalks and signals, and LED street lighting. The project incorporates responsible stormwater management elements that increase infiltration, support vegetation, and reduce stormwater runoff and pollution. Another key element is the integration of aesthetic appeal and attractiveness into project elements including plantings, green infrastructure, water access, wayfinding, educational signage, and public art.
The project also involved a broad public outreach that utilized innovative engagement methods to ensure the voices of the many communities along the corridor were included in the design process. This included meetings with stakeholders, a content-rich website, a door-to-door survey, and a series of hands-on workshops with the community. From this process, a vision document was produced that summarizes what the public has expressed, so that the consultant team designs the streetscape in ways that specifically address community concerns, priorities, and values.