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Doug Funke- Citizens for Regional Transit

Oct 5, 2014|

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A group called citizens for regional transit as having an annual meeting and our quarterly meeting rather. One of the things they're going to talk about this this really becomes a lot more relevant maybe than the words indicate. Transit oriented development sounds like something that I don't know vote could be a little confusing might make your eyes plays over. But when we get into its re human interest thing it talks about basically the future of the city. Should we have a bigger expanded metro rail system or even some sort of system feeding into downtown. Should we end up using that as a way to feed -- development those -- the kind of issues they're talking about. Douglas funky is the president he's with us on the line now to -- a little bit about some of their ideas by the assistance for regional transit Douglas thanks for joining us. Advised correctly and I know it's kind of amorphous it's it might be hard in the five. Have like correctly summarize this idea of transit oriented development do you think that. Transportation can be a driver that that helps pushed downtown development. Point Camden is that in -- under or in my -- it across the caught the country it's it's it's something that's just kind of take you over. You know I basically it it it's focused around trim that -- better transit higher frequency of -- -- it together way of community you know more likable. In our league owned in the way that allowed what -- called mixed use so not is not. Segregating residential. You don't develop that with commercial and office and so forth but at the two of them together so people can live and shop and work. All within the community. And except maybe that served by transit. And it's it's really. It will other publicity than. Since her a lot of private development and it started they called them but we'll get some were excited about there. Give -- example of how what's happening here icy mix use development. Without necessarily being connected to transit. A point to a project or something you see happening where it's a direct result of the potential at least of transit. Well what looked at boarding the -- thing -- happened -- courses in medical campus and that's generating a lot of employment and that. Of course near the transit. System. That there are a lot of development along -- -- along -- also familiarity era in place here. A one good example of that is the Central Park development is being developed yes -- Corporation. That's the large. Develop we'll have 600 apartments -- that the old Central Park -- And that is located. Near the the -- the cameras. Extension. And the intention is that that would doesn't stimulate. Some some private development. Scores and you know often offices and so forth. And that's. -- that's not an area that is part of the medical campus. But connected to a by the rail enough that that the team can be synergistic this thing. -- well yeah. But at what point did it because that development is located near a transit station. You know people who choose to -- there won't be able to hop on the lightly I don't get to work at the about the campus more -- -- that if there and let them get to extend it out there which we would like to see happen. There with me -- while I was gonna ask about that bear with me for a second where do you live in would you be able to right now -- take. Take public transit to work if you had to. Well I'd like I learned an Amherst. I lived here -- -- default boulevard slowly. The -- they just walk up about a half mile to the inaudible war but I don't think that the Boston connected to the light rail. If I if I'm tired and finally do their part so that opens in the park and ride tonight we have. If they all of our meeting that downtown. Down there several times a week in the united situated every single parent so this is just more convenient more enjoyable for me. Is it quicker for you I several years ago before I had this job my day starts really early in the -- wouldn't work now. But several years ago I would thrive for awhile to ride out from the south found these Tora. Into downtown to a job there and yes it worked but it took like almost two hours to get there. Does this work for you do we I guess the real question I'm asking is do we need better more comprehensive. Transits stretching out into the suburbs. Or. Had do we have to walk before we -- crawl before walk rather crawl before walk. Well I don't support that we've been making as citizens -- judgment -- her for years you -- a bit and 65 and we do need to extend. Well it rails to serve more people. There was no plan or 46 mile network. Lightly at all and it all almost all of the non existing. Probably own the rights of women over -- are still in place. And if we can do to be a lot of people like he's liable to you let didn't in this city -- you asked about politics. It's really pretty close -- time. For me because unfortunately the its direction it can take advantage of a -- short let. It and you know I felt it you know considering the other into the into the park and ride. -- take you -- light rail and that's what it's fifty minutes in a little bit longer. Then it was taken to drive but I don't have all the hassle approaching. You know they've still got to. You know what walked into the the location but probably as well a lot of people. They don't have access politely tell them in the top founder. Cheektowaga. We're we're we've been trying to get the -- -- extended out to the airport that -- provisional plan. And it's has been quite that way. Mumbled it publicly owned. Look at stops. -- -- throughout the east side. Perhaps that social political. If there would have become. Reinvigorated. And maybe become an anchor for the multiple stations that would have stopped they'll be a model would -- -- parking parking lot of the and well in that mr. All the people moving out there actually wondered if you you know violence. Also like to play in an original plan also ahead. Called for -- -- real the -- one brings to go out to him under the greatest ability is -- -- The historic election that it was stop. Well doesn't -- which isn't that great idea. Why hasn't and why hasn't any of this happened. One federal funding dried up. It dried up can we resurrect that it would put more water and then get it going again or has that ship sailed. Well that it's as much more typical and get funding today. But it has been there are estimated at other cities are doing it Minneapolis Saint Paul. Feel they're going to the Los Angeles. And they are finding the money. You have to go through the process you have to demonstrate. Ridership in need immunity is actually doing that right now for you ever extension that was also part of the original plan and -- looking at. They're looking at alternative there's. -- -- some of light rail which is which is probably the best alternative for the other alternative will be and what they called Butler at the transit that's what rolling. Approach that is that we've turned the park system. In two you know unlike a lot more like a light rail where you have dedicated like some way to the buses are fighting against traffic all the way. Yet the NF PM at the NF DA put out those alternatives earlier this week. Do you like what they're suggesting dedicated bus lanes and and sort of I am not come on rails but very fast rapid transit and the connection to downtown. That we -- -- in -- -- what they're doing it suggests a mobile alternative which we would have liked to have that. And there are groups including more consideration -- -- -- that they weren't included in the final analysis. But nevertheless what they've got up what they've got I'm is very good news there will be -- big big benefit what is for the area. You know and enclosed in Oakland University specifically that your actions yeah we -- support. Dream for me what else would you wanna see on the list what did you advocates for but not get him in the alternatives. Award will be the one that we wanted to see it was. What could have on the line going up at her London so now that's that's another existing right of way. And then that could get up to the campus. On the need to power lines if not the best alternative but it somewhat more and that's what 6000. And so we wanted to just be able to have a lower parts felt when you get my media. No more affordable for the but nevertheless the one that they've got her -- so -- and so that's what it. Today is the last. Glad I don't I'm sorry. On site you know that the other one you know we've been kind of looking at it. Include them in the news recently as well elect rail right now as an open pit stops that there -- let there be first. For -- would not. Yeah and there's been discussion taking it -- so what. It's sort of self into the old. The unused if you don't use the war. Level -- their maintenance shop. But the upper levels pretty much as it is going to be perfect for light rail stop in the could have an indoor connection over to first Niagara we -- not. Instead what next could actually connect. To that the old you Alan W right of way. Which you don't and it's CA owned right -- way to -- a couple of miles long. And that goes out it -- either terminate. Apparently there's a lot of new jobs being generated. Your future or could. Turn up toward marketing bill. Insert that area -- what could become part of the he had airport extension eventually so that's another another London will look into. To hopefully it's it's an interest in developing. I know you're busy today and you signed up only for a little bit of time here you have to go I'll ask questions about the waterfront. In just a moment but if I could gonna hold for about another ten minutes and should get into -- depth here. Sure yet. We we have -- somewhere to. I imagine -- in the stadiums thrown into the discussion to -- take quick break we'll be back after this Doug funky is here he's with citizens for regional transit. They are commenting not only on what Amherst is looking at the NFJ looking at in Amherst the idea of sort of dedicated bustling through increased rapid transit there. Coming up in the middle of the month they have their quarterly conference a discussion on transit oriented development and gesture than we throw the stadium in downtown on the waterfront -- -- that mixed. A lot to kick around and now that he's agreed to stay with us a little bit longer we can open up the phone lines to if you'd like to join us. 8030930s. The number citizens for regional transit did does the NF TA did the transit system go where it's supposed to go. Would you wanna see some improvements or changes and of course there's the financial issues around that is well. With the -- take a couple calls after this more caffeine. It's hard line on news radio 930 WB yeah back to the phones and bring in. -- funky citizens for regional transit their commenting about the need for just that more regional transit more connections right now -- an FDA has begun consideration. A sort of a dedicated boss slain that would connect like a rapid transit line through -- at the same time we have a lot of discussion about what's going on downtown. And how development and transit can go hand in hand together they have a conference about that coming up on October 15 wheelchair that he thousands the second. If you like grab your your paper and pencil now we can do that and -- let's talk a little bit about the waterfront to and while we're at it the possibility. Of a downtown stadium. Right now the Buffalo Bills play their last game under the Ralph Wilson trust it's assumed that on Tuesday Terry -- will take over as the new owner of the team. And after that the discussion -- -- eventually turned to a downtown stadium -- like the idea do you have any thoughts about where it should go. You spoke earlier about transit issues in redeveloping the central terminal some folks have even suggested that as a possible location what you think. Well you know our position is that what ever stadium to build it needs to be served by light rail. -- -- -- You know comfortably six other people in -- -- trying to cope in the big interest in the game and you look at 121000 people on the trend among them more than all. You know and it's whether -- that would have been that and that's the distractions so and so wherever -- -- -- -- indeed. We feel. Light rail connection that can sort of people in and out -- that people but it felt that it is well aware of world. You know we're not trying to say people shouldn't -- but if you have -- hill. What below the pros of the world for those who want to drive there. They include detailed. Is that you can you can join the tailgating parties in the indictment -- there -- -- -- couldn't stop and then it's more from whatever. And it could -- them on the light -- Cities across the country are connecting this it was. Some kind of ice -- Capacity analytical service. Need to be doing as well. And you're talking about a direct connection right into the stadium not just. Okay stadiums downtown on the light rails downtown you can walk from one -- the you want them there together don't. Well I would prefer that that would be good. Then there's the basketball took some of their at a time that would stated exactly dislocated. You know but -- -- -- didn't of course. We could this -- to go blocker so that's that's that's certainly doable. That brings me right next question are their sites downtown. That he would then take off the table because they don't connected to light rail or would you just make a -- to make sure that connects. Well you know that the that's been the problem that we can put the downtrodden dollar per location that the -- it. They're a little bit of a lot of people who look at what kind of one until it understandably has done that it's a lot of fun. But -- have to dedicate a lot of red and it's a parking area there's already a lot of what park and down now which is certainly like to achieve some of that parking. It in the way we play with someone else but saw what they would like to see that whatever that stadium it's what if if if -- It should have light -- And Olympic park is edible it's such -- over the location. Could potentially do it looks that we haven't done an analysis -- -- specifically in the what those who have seemed to indicate that there's room for parking and that there in the series. You know it could have light rail service -- the other alternative which is really attractive. You know from my perspective. Is the current location -- but stepped up our -- in -- 100 million into it. That put some more make it a little world class stadium in debt that location is. One of the might well. Like the way it is there probably will be available. That's what I want you elect will help. -- out to the existing stadium. You know and it is -- more than that could be a parking lot with the community the city of so and so the city. Everyday in both directions -- into the stadium and did it sort of. Sure let's bring in -- in buffalo quick phone call from him. You have concerns were -- -- a couple live up Parker right and go ahead. -- -- First I think I'm I'm I'm retired now but when -- toward downtown. Spend 600. Million dollars hundred million dollars on my health. -- currently -- that -- -- downed -- both president and outpost he would be expect. That for a money and it took a long time that they do get their money what you're talking about your. We're definitely going to come from around the world. And I Britain who has directed that the money what could be better spent by increasing the bus trip back to graphic took to the suburbs it's. I could ride to location. What about the right away what about shelters for of people around the suburbs and possibly stand -- and arena and it's important. North wind and -- time and I'll hang up and listen to your response. All right times not a friend to why not spend that money on more park and ride. More bus links to the suburbs -- Well sort of put the -- the -- while -- expensive to build on the existing system because it was a -- -- on the ground. You know this is number that -- because of Iran who as you know it's -- -- it's like twenty million. But it -- -- -- a mile that is put it -- toward a million dollars or not it is. Quite as much as you would do one will be -- probably looking like it was also thinks. So -- the world you know -- the it they'll light rail. You know you gotta compare to the -- won't get the -- that they'll probably won't their way up there as well and therefore the big problem is dead in this in this area without somewhat smaller build more and more little -- in the every which way in knowing that button there -- you have to maintain all of those. Bill will. Last a long long time a little bit where we have now -- we have a lot of money back then in the in the 1980s. But it's still the same -- But I would that we that it is sort of a little and so it's not as if they've -- A cost food and as you think its content didn't bother other mode. But I think roads right. Roads right now I think have a stream where funding comes in. Where would money for new rail lines and even dedicated bus lines like they're considering -- way. Where would the money for this come from is that there are already we have to go cup in hand to Washington. Well there's -- They're both political misconception to say that there's not a funding stream for highways -- on the highway -- foreign. One -- the convention. Has been restored. But it covers it covers about half the cost what I would do it hasn't kept up with inflation. What money is really not just the road itself -- -- transportation so parliament does it. It is support myself. But it is true. And it didn't they were there any trends within in the world. Court works and what they carry something like two million people appreciate it in their central system. They'll they'll cover the cost in numbers this state money that goes into. Providing that service. All right -- we are out of time thanks so much for joining us -- funky citizens for regional transit. Right now it's tough to Meet the Press in Washington.