Potential Access Road Causing Controversy

June 6, 2014 Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM EDT

By WKBW News

June 6, 2014 Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 6:12 PM EDT

CLARENCE (WKBW) Access roads are normally meant to make life easier, but if one goes through from a major shopping plaza exiting onto Greiner Road in Clarence, many residents who live in the nearby neighborhood say their lives will be anything but.

Plans are now on the table to turn a single parcel of land, now a driveway to a vacant home, into a two lane access road connecting the Eastgate Shopping Plaza on Transit Road to Greiner Road.

But Karen Okonowski-Dunlap and many people who live in the nearby neighborhood have now joined in the fight against that road.

"There's agreements and there's meeting minutes to say that this will never happen and we're asking the town and Benderson to please honor that," she said.

The group has put up signs throughout the neighborhood, petitioned area residents, and continue to meet with the town and land owner Benderson Development. Opponents of the road argue it will only cause increases in traffic, pollution, as well as safety concerns.

"People are walking on the streets, playing in the streets, riding their bikes in the streets and if you have a lot of traffic there's a huge huge possibility of accidents," Okonowski-Dunlap said.

We reached out to Benderson Development for comment, but did not hear back.

A similar project was proposed in 2006 and 2010 to ease the traffic congestion on Transit Road, and despite the neighborhood concerns, several shoppers we spoke with supported the project.

"It would probably be a good idea to do away with this overall congestion," one shopper said.

"Anything to make it better, easier, less traffic, is good with me," another added.

More meetings are scheduled between the Clarence planning board, the neighbors, and Benderson. It could be up to six months before a final decision is made.

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