When a shopping center bans Metro buses from its property, Buffalo's collective memory is stirred.
We remember Cynthia Wiggins, the 17-year-old who died crossing Walden Avenue in 1995, trying to get to her job at the Walden Galleria. The mall had blocked her bus from entering its property.
Now, the Quaker Crossing shopping center in Orchard Park says it doesn't want buses stopping there, either.
Its owner, Gerald Buchheit, said he's remembering Wiggins too. His plaza, 100-acres of vast parking lots ringed by spread-out stores, just isn't designed for people to walk around in. To avoid another tragedy, buses should keep away, he argues.
On Tuesday, Metro buses began stopping on a public road that bisects Quaker Crossing. The single stop is about in the middle of the plaza … and a long walk from either end.
Metro had wanted to send buses around the plaza's interior, but dropped the idea after the property refused to allow buses on its private roads.
So what's the solution: Keep the fast-growing plaza a car-only zone? Or make it more pedestrian friendly?
--- Fred Williams