Map: Where Buffalo Drivers Smash Into Buildings (Hint: Everywhere)

Cynthia Van Ness, a librarian and host of, put together the above map, showing the nearly 150 sites where drivers crashed into buildings in the Buffalo region and made the news since 2006.

The map includes links to the media coverage of the incidents, and Van Ness points out how reporters and editors tend to implicitly forgive the drivers involved in these crashes:

Let others fume about “jaywalking.” This is a map of “jaydriving.” About 150 crash sites marked! Each placemark has a link to a news story. Note how often the car is blamed instead of the driver.

A September 2010 incident where “a van crashed into a senior citizen’s apartment complex” was referred to by WGRZ as a “minor accident.” The article notes that the driver was an “older man,” that “alcohol was not a factor” and that “no one was injured.” No harm, no foul, apparently, since no one had the misfortune of standing in his way!

In all likelihood, the map captures only a fraction of all the vehicular bricks-and-mortar mayhem in the region, since it relies on news coverage, not comprehensive public records.

Van Ness calls Buffalo “the world capital of drivers crashing into buildings,” but this seems to be a common occurrence all over America.

17 thoughts on Map: Where Buffalo Drivers Smash Into Buildings (Hint: Everywhere)

  1. An especially puzzling incident is the one on Sept. 3, 2011. Someone crashed a Jaguar into a Family Dollar Store. What were they doing there?

  2. What an awesome mode of transportation. We should retrofit every square inch of our cities to accommodate it at the expense of all other modes.

  3. Went to college in Buffalo. The way I describe it is that it is everything bad about cities and everything bad about suburbs, combined. Was literally the only person I knew that would walk to others houses or the corner store (5-7 city streets away). Buffalo is where I first developed my hatred of being forced to walk through a parking lot to get to a store.

    It’s a real freaking shame SUNY @ Buffalo’s (UB) north campus was not built in downtown Buffalo. That part of the city (along with Elmwood which is like Park Slope and Ditmas Park combined) is quite nice. This would have provided students with rail link between the two campuses instead of shitty shuttle buses. Also could have revitalized the downtown area. What a waste.

    Fun fact. Olmstead’s real masterpiece park is supposedly in Buffalo. Originally called “The Park” it now more commonly goes by the name Delaware park. (surprise, it is near elmwood)

    Buffalo though, what a shithole.

  4. The crash at Two Rod and Westwood in Alden is pretty close to my parent’s house. I don’t recognize the family name of the drunk driver. But maybe that’s why my parents bought a house with 100 feet of front yard between them and the street.

    Unfortunately, the “blame anyone or anything other than the driver” is not a philosophy confined to Buffalo.

    Jym is right. I don’t know why we don’t have a mandatory helmet law for homes.

  5. I think the decision to build the new UB campus in Amherst was politically driven by development money. A lot of us thought that was a shit decision back when it was made. But it was forced through by big money.

    Buffalo used to be a nice city. I grew up there. Ran the streets in the shadow of the old War Memorial Stadium. The ravages of the rust belt decades along with the civil rights turmoil of the sixties sure put an end to that. Elmwood near Buff State and Allentown is still really nice.

  6. There was a building in downtown Cincinnati that was hit by cars three times in a single year. It’s a historic structure and many feared for its structural stability after the crashes, yet it remains standing to this day.

  7. uggh… im glad im not the only former UB student that feels this way. growing up in nyc, i thought the 2nd largest city in the state would be a nice place to go to college. oh boy was i wrong. i hated taking those blue bird buses from north to south campus, and the entire city was sooooo car dependent. i recall going downtown to main street on a sunday to only have it completely dead of commerce. it was so depressing.

    the only life seemed relegated to the local bars where ppl drank themselves silly or drive needlessly to the galleria mall just for shits and giggles.

    i also walked across the parking lots and ppl looked at me funny like you are not supposed to do that. you have to get into a car first or something.

    oh how i just hated the city.

  8. We often see expensive, late model cars at the 99 Cents Only stores here in the San Gabriel Valley (Southern Calif.)

  9. “growing up in nyc, i thought the 2nd largest city in the state would be a nice place to go to college. oh boy was i wrong.”

    Well, Rochester may become the 2nd largest city in NY soon, the way things are going in Buffalo. 🙁

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