Are We Closer to Seeing Humboldt Parkway Restored?

NYS Assembly Majority Leader Crystal Peoples-Stokes praises Governor Kathy Hochul’s support for the Kensington Expressway project. 

The project seeks to fully cover the Route 33 Kensington Expressway from East Ferry to Best Streets to restore Frederick Law Olmsted’s vision for Humboldt Parkway while reconnecting the Hamlin Park, Cold Spring, and MLK neighborhoods.          

 The project is seen rightfully by many as a way to correct a past injustice for communities of color that primarily reside in the neighborhoods that the highway has separated.

These reclamation-type projects have become more popular in recent years as state and federal governments, alongside social justice advocates who seek to

right historical wrongs of environmental injustices that have negatively impacted low-income communities nationwide by way of increased traffic and pollution

which led to many health complications (cancers, lupus, asthma), environmental issues, and decreased property values.

Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes, who has been a staunch leader for almost two decades advocating for the project’s advancement said, “With a new federal

transportation and infrastructure bill on the horizon, this is our moment to think and act boldly to make change for a better tomorrow: by replacing or redesigning the Rt. 33 Kensington. These expressways have long severed and disrupted our communities and recreational spaces, particularly Humboldt Parkway, which connected MLK Jr. Park with Delaware Park, which is the nexus and crown jewel of the Buffalo Olmsted Parks system. 

We have reached a tipping point, where eliminating these barriers would be a significant step towards reunifying neighborhoods in our city and healing decades-old wounds.”

The project has a broad support base from virtually all of Western New York elected officials and stakeholders. Earlier this year, Majority Leader Peoples-Stokes, alongside Restore Our Community Coalition (ROCC) has been quietly but effectively leading the charge for the removal of the Scajaquada and the  restoration of Humboldt Parkway  charge for years, and other federal, state, and local representatives, held a press conference advocating for the accelerated completion of the Department of Transportation’s Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). 

A federally approved EIS is required to compete for the forthcoming federal infrastructure and transportation dollars that could possibly be beneficial for the Kensington project.