Better on Bailey: An Infrastructure Plan


Photograph of a mural

As a part of the “Better on Bailey Initiative” local artists have installed murals along Bailey Avenue to improve building aesthetics throughout the community.

Bailey Avenue is a major thoroughfare that traverses the entire eastern side of the City of Buffalo and provides access to major regional expressways, inner and outer suburbs and major commercial, industrial, educational and human services. It is no surprise that is widely used for one or more of these purposes, but what is most surprising, is that small restaurants and businesses located along Bailey at times struggle to attract new consistent clientele. Specifically, in the Kensington/Bailey Neighborhood, many commercial properties remain vacant and deteriorating due to a lack of interest or investment in the area. Over the past 40 years, multiple organizations and community interests groups have conducted numerous studies in an attempt to identify key issues impeding revitalization along the business corridor, and for the most part, all concluded that the streetscape design is a major impediment to promoting small business growth and viability on Bailey Avenue.

Bailey Avenue is well known for its high traffic volume largely due to its access points to the Kensington Expressway, congestion during peak hours of the day, high traffic speeds, faulty pedestrian crossing signals and absent crosswalks in major intersections, and an overall dangerous environment for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. Most recently, a UB student of Environmental Design in the School of Architecture and Planning, Matthew Staub, researched previous needs assessment documents along with current observations and survey work conducted during a semester-long planning studio. Using the information derived from 40 years of neighborhood studies, Stuab designed a streetscape improvement proposal for Councilperson Rasheed N.C. Wyatt of the University District, University Development Community Development Association and the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council as Bailey Avenue comes to the forefront of future streetscape redesign plans.

“Better on Bailey: Infrastructure Plan” proposes streetscape plans that will calm traffic, promote multi-modal transportation and create a people friendly business corridor between Winspear and Kensington Avenues. Included in these designs are a road diet, striping to identify travel, parking, turning and bike lanes, options for parking-protected bike lanes or regular bike lanes, crosswalk installation, and short-, mid- and long-term solutions to increasing walkability and activate the now concrete-dominate sidewalks. From planting trees to supporting aesthetic improvements to current business owners, there is plenty of potential to create a people-oriented Bailey Avenue.

As we continue working with business owners, block clubs and dedicated residents to encourage growth and sustainability along Bailey Avenue, we need your input to help determine which streetscape plan would best support these goals. Please take a few minutes to review the three streetscape proposals in Straub’s “Better on Bailey” proposal. To provide feedback, please fill out our Better on Bailey survey and make sure to include recommendations that may be absent from the proposed graphics. The plans we design today will have a long-standing impact on the corridor, therefore, we are determined to take every step possible to ensure that the impact will bring opportunity and stability to the neighborhood.