Award Nominated Traffic Project Improves Quality of Life, Businesses

October 4, 2010 Updated Oct 4, 2010 at 6:58 PM EDT

By Laura Gray

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October 4, 2010 Updated Oct 4, 2010 at 6:58 PM EDT

Hamburg, NY (WKBW) -- The roundabouts in the village of Hamburg is one of 10 projects from around the country to be nominated for a People's Choice Award. Not only have they made driving in the village easier, they've helped improve the entire community.
It could have been just a routine traffic signal installation, but instead a forward thinking mayor brought in an expert to make Hamburg's Route 62 more walk-able and more pedestrian friendly. With the support of the community the DOT added roundabouts.
Roundabouts weren't always popular in the village of Hamburg. Some residents were strongly against them when they were proposed nearly a decade ago. Today, the American Association of State Highway Transportation Officials, AAA, and the US Chamber of Commerce have deemed the roundabouts one of the top 10 road projects in the country.
The roundabouts lead to better things for the village of Hamburg, including 800-thousand dollars in state funding to rehab the facades of 40 buildings. Patti Dollas tells us Tina's Italian Kitchen is one of those businesses that made improvements. Dollas credits the roundabouts for the best season in years.
Some business owners say the roundabouts have improved the quality of life in the village. Denise Fenton of Main Street Ice Cream tells us neighbors walk more. Out of town guests comment on the beauty of the community.
Online voters will decide the winner of the People's Choice Award. Both winners will be announced October 31st. You can vote through our website. Just click on newslinks.