For too long, motorists in Western New York have had to settle for dodging potholes and rerouting around collapsing bridges. When the snow melts each spring, the Buffalo Niagara region is left with the harsh reality of what another winter has done to an underfunded and neglected infrastructure system.
The New York State Budget is so much more than dollars and cents. While it does direct spending over the next fiscal year, the state budget is also typically teeming with policy—legislation that impacts New York’s employers and taxpayers every single day. That is why the Buffalo Niagara Partnership is so actively engaged in state budget advocacy, making sure state leaders and Western New York’s senators and assembly members know what we support and what we oppose.
The Buffalo Niagara Partnership recently unveiled its 2018 Advocacy Agenda to a capacity crowd of members and elected officials in downtown Buffalo.
By: Mark Lenz, Professional Engineer and Vice President, Arcadis at firstname.lastname@example.org
Our regional transportation network is a vital piece of the Buffalo Niagara economy. We rely on roads and bridges to move people and goods around the region and to connect us with the rest of the country – and world. With our region’s position on an international border and the prominence of the local logistics industry; the transportation network plays a critical role in the Buffalo Niagara region. As such, the Partnership has taken a strong position role in advocating for our region’s fair allocation of transportation funds from the state and federal governments, as well as supporting projects that strengthen our infrastructure.
After years of advocating for a long-term federal transportation bill that would fund projects around the country, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership can cross another item off our advocacy agenda; the Fixing America’s Surface Transportation (FAST) Act was signed into law by President Obama earlier this month. The first long-term transportation bill passed by Congress in 10 years, the FAST Act allocates $305 billion over five years for surface transportation re-authorization.
With a shutdown of federal highway projects looming, Congress recently passed a three month extension for the Highway Trust Fund.
This extension ensures that projects will be funded until October 29. While this may seem like good news, it is only a temporary fix.
For well over a decade, the Buffalo Niagara Partnership has collaborated with the cities of Buffalo and Niagara Falls and the counties of Erie and Niagara to produce the Regional Agenda.
The document has been a combination of shared requests for both project funding and policy changes at the state and federal level.
I recently blogged about the tremendous impact that Buffalo Urban Development Corporation’s (BUDC) Downtown Buffalo Infrastructure and Public Realm Framework is having on downtown Buffalo.
The framework, intended to serve as a guide for strategic infrastructure development downtown, targeted specific investment nodes including the Main Street Investment Corridor.