Another Voice: Don’t allow cars back on Delaware Park’s Ring Road | Opinion

Another Voice: Don’t allow cars back on Delaware Park’s Ring Road | Opinion

There’s talk that cars, after a two-year hiatus, will be allowed to return to Ring Road that circles the meadow in Delaware Park. Can that be?

I thought that park advocates had won that argument two years ago when Covid-19 hit and the City of Buffalo and the Olmsted Conservancy, in the interest of the public’s health, banned cars from Ring Road.

No longer, we thought and certainly hoped, would cars be allowed to drive around, or park, anywhere along the road. The impact was immediate. Hundreds of people – runners, walkers, bicyclists, skateboarders, families with small kids walking, biking and just playing – flocked to the newly liberated Ring Road.

It was here, in what Frederick Law Olmsted called “the lungs of the city,” that the people of Buffalo, during these most difficult times, were able to enjoy the full, traffic-free peace and beauty of Ring Road, just as Olmsted had long ago imagined.

Finally! Since the early 1970s, citizens have struggled against automobile-happy public officials who viewed Ring Road and even the meadow as fair game for cars. Over the years, Ring Road had become an out-of-control shortcut through the park, a quick way to avoid the light at Parkside or to get on to the Scajaquada Expressway.