Logistics and Transportation Council tours NITTEC

The Buffalo Niagara Partnership plays a lead role in advocating for many issues that are critical to the economy and residents of Western New York.

Often times, issues can be divisive, falling along political lines or fronted with the disparate needs between upstate and downstate. However, when it comes to transportation infrastructure, the issue is met with near universal concern.

Logistics and Transportation Council tours NITTEC

According to the 2015 TRIP Report, more than one third of New York State’s roadways are in poor condition.

Nearly 40 percent of our bridges are rated as structurally deficient or functionally obsolete.

Transportation infrastructure is the functional backbone of New York State, responsible for moving people, goods and commerce.

The resources currently allocated to transportation infrastructure are insufficient for routine preservation, much less for true investment and improvement to our State.

How can we expect to grow when our bones are barely held together?

On Thursday, May 14, Buffalo Niagara Partnership members had the opportunity to sit down with one of the region’s leading transportation advocates, New York State Senator Tim Kennedy.

Senator Kennedy, representing parts of the City of Buffalo, Lackawanna, Cheektowaga and West Seneca, sits on the NYS Senate’s transportation committee.

At the event, the Senator stressed the importance of investing in our infrastructure and defining a future in which we are growing our state as a place to live and do business.

NITTEC traffic 3However, improving our network is not as easy as raising additional funds.

New York is already one of the most heavily taxed and most expensive states in the nation.

The proposition of simply raising additional tax revenue is unrealistic and, potentially, irresponsible.

A smart first step, suggested by Senator Kennedy and long championed by the Partnership’s Logistics and Transportation Council, is to ensure that revenues collected by transportation (tolls, gas tax, etc.) are actually allocated for our infrastructure.

The Senator urged our organization to support the BRIDGE Act, a bill in Albany that aims to return funding to capital investment in our road and highway infrastructure for new improvements.

The bill has a companion legislation in both the Senate and the Assembly, and would be an important advancement in funding a better mobility network overall.

The Council’s discussion with the Senator was followed by a tour of the Niagara International Transportation Technology Coalition’s (NITTEC) Traffic Operations Center.

Attendees were exposed to some of the region’s most intelligent transportation resources, including their 24/7 headquarters that monitors the region’s traffic and provides real-time information to improve traffic flows and enhance emergency assistance.

NITTEC traffic 2Less time spent in congested traffic means less energy consumption, less air pollution and more reliable travel times for personal and business travel.

Whether a slowdown may be caused by severe weather, construction, a public event, or a traffic accident, information gathered in the Traffic Operations Center regarding transportation issues on the local highways is disseminated through this website.

For more information about our Logistics and Transportation Council, advocacy efforts and resources available throughout the region, please contact me.