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Ellicott Street Underpass

"This Community Placemaking Grant will help us to create a vibrant, accessible space that elevates the heart of our city and connects people in a meaningful way."

Brandye Merriweather, Buffalo Urban Development Corporation

Buffalo Urban Development Corporation
New York

Buffalo Urban Development Corporation (BUDC) is a nonprofit that reclaims local, distressed land and buildings for development across Buffalo, New York. 

One of those sites with big potential is the stretch of Ellicott Street next to the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library.

As part of a broader placemaking strategy for Ellicott Street, this area would be a public space serving both the neighborhood, composed of predominantly Black households, as well as the greater community. Almost 40,000 downtown workers, visitors, library patrons, community college students, and nearby school-age children pass through this area.

Through this Community Placemaking Grant, Project for Public Spaces will partner with BUDC to engage the people who use this site everyday. Through placemaking, we will unlock this public space and make it safer and more welcoming for all. Some preliminary ideas include using paint, planters, and benches to allow people to slow down and catch up with each other, as well as implementing traffic calming measures to slow vehicle speeds. Opening the roads to cyclists and pedestrians would greatly benefit Buffalo’s East Side where 37% of the population living within a mile of the location lack access to a car.

An underpass awaiting a placemaking transformation. Photo credit: Buffalo Urban Development Corporation.
A "before" photo of the stretch of Ellicott Street next to the Buffalo and Erie County Central Library. Photo credit: Buffalo Urban Development Corporation.

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