sane urban planning occurs, but it took a tragedy


10 miles altogether tonight, didn’t eat much today but the run still felt great – must be getting over the cold – and included some 400 meter pick ups (averaging 75 seconds each, 1 lap rest) on the track to continue getting the arms, legs, lungs accustomed to speed and intervals.  It felt great to let the legs go a little bit, and will help in next Tuesday’s full interval workout.  I’ve never like track running much, have to say that it feels nice to be back on it now doing some faster stuff.  My form already feels better.

Part of the run swung by Delaware Park, an Olmsted designed jewel in which I run about 90% of the time, and within it a 2 mile Ring Road loop where I often do hill workouts and have had some epic tempo runs several times around the loop in preparation for marathons.  Simply, it’s my favorite place to run in Buffalo.

But it’s a solemn place these days following a tragic traffic accident this past Saturday that claimed the life of a 3 year boy and critically injured his 5 year old sister.  The scene of the accident is where many park goers walk/run/bike and where I do my hills.

The tragedy has hit the community very hard and, if there’s anything that can be salvaged from something unimaginable like this, it’ll be to finally undo an insane 1960’s state/county installation of an expressway right through the park and parallel to the park roads.  At some stretches there’s only a 20 yard patch of grass that separates the park from the expressway, and this is where the car veered off right onto the park and into the children (investigation on-going).

The day after the tragedy, with public outcry, the state permanently reduced the speed limit to 30mph from 50, something several decades overdue.  It was announced that the expressway would be converted to a pedestrian-friendly neighborhood parkway with traffic lights and more intersections, this year.

Running over to the park on my usual route, it was a feeling of both melancholy and calm as I observed much slower and less violent traffic on the once frenzy expressway.  It was as if drivers were slowing down along the park in reverence for the little boy looking down from the heavens.


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