"Death corner" getting another look from town

Posted at 6:40 PM, Aug 31, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-31 18:40:04-04

A dangerous intersection in the Town of Amherst, that some neighbors call "death corner", is being put under the microscope by the Amherst Traffic Safety Board.

Neighbors recall countless accidents over the years at Wehrle Drive and Lamarck Drive. Many suspect it is due to people trying to speed through yellow lights, or drivers on Wehrle not paying attention to the traffic signal in the first place.

"We've seen some pretty tragic ones," Patti Parobek said. She's lived on Lamarck Drive in Amherst for 20 years. "We've seen the jaws of life come out. We've seen cars flip over. Kids get hit by cars."

Parobek thinks many of these accident could be avoided by simply putting stop signs on her street and let traffic on Wehrle continue to flow.

John Waller lives Lamarck, but on the other side of Wehrle in the Town of Cheektowaga. He couldn't count how many accidents he's seen in the 10 years he's been living in his home.

"A lot of people like to gun it to try and make the light," Waller explained. He also thinks stop signs would be an improvement. "That type of behavior is not conducive to the traffic pattern."

The Traffic Safety Board is holding a public meeting next Wednesday at 7 p.m. to review the "all red clearance" for the traffic signal. There is currently a 1.4 second gap after one direction gets a red light before the other direction is given a green light, according to Amherst's Traffic Safety Coordinator Chris Schregel.

That 1.4 seconds would be within safe standards, according to Schregel. But on Thursday, 7 Eyewitness News recorded the "all red clearance", or time where red is showing in every direction, at 1.05 seconds.

The Traffic Safety Board last reviewed this intersection in 2014 and recommended several changes to the Highway Department.

Amherst Police have responded to two car accidents in the past four months at Wehrle and Lamarck. One driver was sent to the hospital, according to police.