Also: Let’s rethink what a “bike lane” is, and using city hall as a homeless shelter.

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What We’re Following

A Buffalo shuffle? Since opening in 1985, Buffalo’s Metro Rail has underperformed as a transit system, becoming a local punchline for limited service that fell short of its early ambitions. But it sure looks cool: The Niagara Frontier Transit Authority built a network of strikingly modern underground stations complemented by public art. With its colorful steel sculptures, neon tubes, and edgy architecture, it’s an “underrated artistic triumph,” says CityLab’s Mark Byrnes.

Buffalo transit stations are pictured.
(Mark Byrnes)

But a new effort to revamp the system could end up destroying just about the only thing it truly got right. The NFTA is considering plans to redevelop Metro Rail’s underground stations to lure new riders and boost density along the system’s route. So far, one station has gotten a facelift; the result, Mark writes, should be more than enough to concern fans of the originals.

Andrew Small


More on CityLab

Let’s Rethink What a ‘Bike Lane’ Is

How about “light individual transport lane”?

Andrew Small

The Selective Singapore of ‘Crazy Rich Asians’

In the real city, more than 80 percent of people live in public housing blocks. In the film, we never see one.

Mimi Kirk

What an Anti-Transit Federal Transit Administration Looks Like

A GAO report says the FTA “runs the risk of violating federal law” as it blocks rail and bus projects.

Laura Bliss

In a Growing Crisis, Seattle Uses City Hall as a Homeless Shelter

Each night, 80 beds are laid out in the lobby of city hall. It’s meant as a temporary solution—but long-term fixes are proving elusive.

Hallie Golden

How Plastic Trash Moves Around the Great Lakes

It doesn’t form garbage patches—but that’s not necessarily a good thing.

Matthew J. Hoffman and Christy Tyler


What We’re Reading

Why do we continue to be surprised by gentrification? (Belt Magazine)

D.C. rodent complaints are at an all-time high. How’s the city handling it? (Washington Post)

A narrow group of people speak up at public meetings, study finds (Route Fifty)

A group of 19 mayors pledge to make all buildings net-zero by 2030 (Curbed)

The other side of “broken windows” (New Yorker)


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