Weekly Feature

2018-05-16 / Front Page

DOT on board with ‘road diet’

by HOLLY N. LIPKA Reporter

State Department of Transportation officials have decided to pursue their original plan to convert the section of South Union Road between Wehrle Drive and Main Street from four lanes to three lanes.

Mayor Dan DeLano received a letter in the mail on Friday from Frank Cirillo, DOT regional director, which stated that DOT officials made their decision “based on the resolutions that were approved by both the Amherst Town Board and the Williamsville Village Board.”

Both boards passed resolutions in April expressing their support for the “road diet” and acknowledging its effect on calming traffic and eliminating conflict points for through traffic, left-turning vehicles and other road users.

In contrast, at the April 23 public information meeting, many South Union Road residents expressed their concerns regarding greater traffic backups and more cars blocking the ability to enter and exit their driveways.

“I know the folks who live there don’t trust us, and I hope we’re right, but if we’re wrong it’s only paint,” said Deputy Mayor Basil Piazza. “I think the road diet is going to be safer.”

The section of South Union Road will be re-striped with two, 12-foot travel lanes, a two-way center turning lane and a curb offset varying between 2 feet, 3 inches and 6 feet.

The road will also be milled and resurfaced with a new layer of asphalt. Any curb ramps that are not compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act will also be updated.

Construction will begin on the approximately $500,000 project in September and would be completed by June 2019. No off-site detours will be required, but some delays are to be expected.

In another matter, village officials will attend a pre-construction meeting with DOT officials on Wednesday to set a construction schedule for the Picture Main Street project.

“The project will be completed in four phases, and each phase, minus the milling and paving, will be finished before the next phase begins,” said DeLano. “The first phase will be in the core [of the village] from [Ellicott] Creek to Cayuga Road.”

The improvements are scheduled to begin later this summer and include bulb-outs, street greenery, crosswalks and a pedestrian activated HAWK device, which will be installed in front of the Williamsville Library, at 5571 Main St.

The High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon will be used to stop road traffic and allow pedestrians to safely cross the street. Its signal will first flash yellow, then steady yellow and then display steady red for several seconds.

The signal was initially part of the first phase of construction, but DeLano said it takes “12 weeks to arrive after it’s ordered” and that parts for the device had not been ordered yet.

The next Village Board meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 29, at Village Hall, 5565 Main St. For more information, visit walk ablewilliamsville.com.

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