NFTA Transporter

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Help Plan Buffalo-Niagara's Future

Have you ever had a great idea about how to make the Buffalo Niagara Region a better place to live and work? A local consortium of private and public sector organizations is working to improve the area’s future and hoping to hear from you.

Their collaborative project, One Region Forward, is a broad-based effort to guide and promote more sustainable forms of development in Erie and Niagara Counties. The consortium, led by the NFTA and the Greater Buffalo-Niagara Regional Transportation Council (GBNRTC), is focused on issues such as land use, housing, food access, transportation, energy and the environment. Its goal is connect affordable housing to quality jobs through efficient and effective transportation.

"Public transportation is a major part of the discussion about future development, and having the NFTA's perspective helps shape ideas about mass transit in regards to development patterns." "The NFTA plays very important role in helping One Region Forward accomplish its mission," said Bart J. Roberts, Project Manager for One Region Forward.

In an effort to develop a comprehensive plan for the region, One Region Forward is inviting the public to a series of "Community Congress" Scenario Planning Workshops next month held in various locations throughout Erie and Niagara Counties. Participants will engage in an interactive exercise, where they will literally map out their ideas for a better Buffalo.

"The participants will work in small groups with maps showing infrastructure assets, like the thruway, the airports , and landmarks," Roberts said. "Then, they will plot out various ideas on those maps and talk about how they would re-imagine certain areas, how they might do things better."

One Region Forward will collect public input from these Scenario Planning Workshops and develop a comprehensive plan for the region. Roberts said participants will also “learn about the trends that have shaped Buffalo Niagara over the last 40 years, and what the area might look like 40 years from now if things are left unchanged."

Roberts encourages any interested NFTA employees to attend the free two-hour workshops. See below for a complete schedule of workshops (along with available Metro routes to the event locations). For more information on One Region Forward including workshop dates, go to oneregionforward.org.