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Right turn restrictions, changes to traffic signal timing could be coming to Niagara Falls Boulevard

Posted at 11:55 AM, Jul 29, 2019

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — A study by the New York State Department of Transportation has led to a number of recommendations to improve pedestrian safety along a dangerous stretch of Niagara Falls Boulevard along the Amherst-Town of Tonawanda line.

It's a busy are for both cars and pedestrians.

"It can be a little bit of a Wild West, there's a lot of services offered on one side or the other, people treat it like it's their main street," said Town Supervisor of Amherst, Brian Kulpa.

Short-term recommendations include adding more pedestrian signals, crosswalks, sidewalks, pedestrian islands and curb ramps with detectable warning units. The study also suggested adjusting the timing of traffic signals, restricting right turns on red, and relocating bus stops.

Many of the recommendations will be rolled into a $2 million safety improvement project that will take place next year. Some recommendations require further analysis and coordination with engineers, the state and the towns.

The study looked at a 6.5-mile stretch of the Boulevard between Tonawanda Creek Road and Kenmore Avenue.

Six pedestrians have been killed along this stretch of Route 62 in five years.

From June 14 to 27 of this year, Town of Tonawanda police issued 30 warnings to pedestrians for not crossing with the pedestrian signal and 27 to pedestrians for crossing outside of crosswalks.

"We need education and we need people to make sound decisions as pedestrians," said Kulpa.

It's also proven dangerous for vehicles.

"While we spend a lot of time talking about pedestrians, there's actually a significant number of auto accidents in that corridor...over 300 a year," said Kulpa.

The next step is engineering work to be done by the state, according to Kulpa.

The full report by the state can be viewed here.