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Home > City Departments > Emergency Management Services > Seasonal Transportation Plan

Seasonal Transportation Plan

Goal: To Expedite as efficiently and safely as possible, the movement of traffic within, through, or from the City and/or it's inner ringed suburb communities during potential or actual seasonal weather emergency conditions. The Inner ring communities include: the City of Lackawanna, and Towns of Tonawanda, West Seneca, Cheektowaga and Amherst.

Objective: To establish a plan with criteria which would minimize major traffic problems during seasonal weather conditions, in the City of Buffalo and the surrounding suburbs. The objective would be reached by having all major employers and municipalities voluntarily participating in the Program.

Purpose: To provide for the public safety, meet the Transportation needs of the City of Buffalo and surrounding suburbs despite the adverse seasonal weather conditions. To identify potential weather conditions before they cause serious traffic problems, and threaten public safety.

      The criteria: A. The National Weather Service Issues a Winter Storm Warning, Watch or Advisory
      B. Forecasted sleet/freezing rain
      C. Forecasted snowfall (intensity and duration) that will cause
      serious driving conditions
      D. Day of the Week – Monday thru Friday

    Criteria will be obtained from: National Weather Service
    Meteorologic's Software

Information will be given to the following for a decision to enact the plan

    City of Buffalo Emergency Preparedness Office
    Roger Lander/or designee – Phone #: 851-6510


    County of Erie Emergency Services Department
    Michael V. Walters/or designee

Agencies that should provide additional information to enact plan

    1. National Weather Service – Forecast Operator
    2. New York State DOT –North Erie Resident Engineer & South Erie Resident Engineer
    3. Erie County Department of Public Works – Commissioner and/or Deputy Commissioner of Highways or Designee
    4. C/Buffalo Dept. of Public Works – Deputy Commissioner of Streets or Designee
    5. New York State Thruway Authority – Communications Supervisor or Designee
    6. NITTEC – Traffic Operations Center
    7. Erie County Sheriff's Department – Watch Commander
    8. New York State Police –Tech. Sgt. – Communications – Thruway T-Troop
    9. Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority – Bus and Rail Controller or Designee
    10. Buffalo Place – Security Liaison or Designee
    11. City of Buffalo Police – 911 Lieutenant
    12. City of Buffalo Fire Department – Alarm Office Dispatcher
    13. Emergency Dispatch Centers – Tonawanda, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Amherst & C/Lackawanna

Recommended Plan Options

    1. Don't open
    2. Close and conduct an early release
    3. Hold and no release
    4. Close and conduct an early release using specific snow emergency routes

Major employers, both public and private, will be asked to participate in this plan. If this plan requires an early release, voluntary compliance with the following two steps will need to be followed.

Step I of the early release part of this plan
Two Groups of Major Employers will conduct a rotation release of their non-essential employees when this plan is utilized. This release will be conducted one hour apart.
Group one
will consist of: The City of Buffalo
Group two
will consist of: The County of Erie
Advise only: State of New York and The Federal Government

Step II of the early release part of this plan for Participating employers
The remaining employers are being asked to consider releasing their total non-essential employees/workforce in 30-minute increments or choose to be part of Step I. Employers may release their non-essential employees in any manner/fashion they see fit. Examples are by floor, by building, or alphabetical.

The Mayor of the City of Buffalo and/or Erie County Executive, upon receipt of adequate information, will implement the plan.

The City of Buffalo Disaster Office and/or Erie County Emergency Services will notify NITTEC and/or MERS to make the notifications to the media and other agencies

Media to be contacted:

    WGRZ-TV (Channel 2)
    WIVB-TV (Channel 4)
    WKBW-TV (Channel 7)
    WBEN (930), WGR (550), WBFO, WBLK, WJYE, , WNED, WYRK
    Metro Networks & Associated Press
    Dave Masi, NFTA Traffic Central
    National Weather Service (EAS Activation)

The Agencies/Private entities to be notified that the plan has been put into effect: (not necessarily in order)

Buffalo Fire Dispatch will contact: Police, Public Works (Streets), Municipal Housing Authority, Parking Enforcement, and Sewer Authority. Buffalo Place (Mon-Fri, 9 AM to 5 PM) à contact downtown building security personnel

MERS Control will contact: Emergency Services, Highway Dept., Sheriff Dept. and the Emergency Dispatch Centers for the Towns of Tonawanda, West Seneca, Cheektowaga, Amherst, and the City of Lackawanna.

New York State – Buildings Manager
Federal Government
– Buildings Manager
NYSDOT – North Erie Resident Engineer & South Erie Resident Engineer
NFTA – Sr. Communications Dispatcher
NYSTA – Sr. Communications Dispatcher
New York State Police – Troop A Batavia Communications

The Following streets in the City of Buffalo have been identified as possible Emergency Evacuation Routes. In the event of an Emergency requiring access or egress to the City of Buffalo, these specific routes will be utilized and maintained to the best as conditions permit. At a later date they will be posted with signage, Evacuation Route.

South Park Avenue Genesee Street

Niagara Street Seneca Street

Elmwood Avenue Exchange Street

Delaware Avenue Main Street

Clinton Street William Street


Other Routes that may be utilized, if open and safe, to travel are:

Route 90 Route 190 Route 33 Route 5 Route 219 Route 400 Route 290 Route 990

The Seasonal Transportation Program relies on three parts to be effective:

    1. The voluntary compliance of all involved, agencies and business to participate in the release of their employees in timed fashion. (Vary from one hour to 30 minutes depending on the agency or business).
    2. Communicating to the public that a program has been established and will be implemented when a Seasonal Weather situation presents itself.
    3. Re-affirming that the Plowing patterns and Snow Evacuation Routes will be plowed as advertised.