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Road changes in North Tonawanda have neighbors concerned for safety

Posted at 6:33 PM, Nov 07, 2019
and last updated 2019-11-07 18:33:25-05

NORTH TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Neighbors in North Tonawanda believe recent safety changes made to one road may have actually made it more dangerous.

The yellow dividing line on Felton St. used to be slightly off center, leaving more room on the side of the road where cars are allowed to park. When North Tonawanda repaved the street it moved the yellow line to the center, but neighbors want it shifted back.

Jennifer Crowley witnessed a crash in front of her house yesterday.

"I was all shaken up, I couldn't even finish the rest of my day," she said.

Crowley believes happened because of the line change.

"I think she was trying to avoid the lines maybe and hit the wheel and pushed the car, flipped the car," Crowley said.

The North Tonawanda DPW Superintendent Mark Zellner said the change was made because the stretch is a common truck route. The city was afraid trucks would hit poles on the narrow side of the street, so that's why it moved the line to the center.

Zellner said he recognizes the city can't please everybody. It plans to canvas the neighborhood to find other possible solutions, like removing parking on the street altogether.

At the intersection of Felton and Oliver, the four way traffic light is now a red and yellow blinking light. Some neighbors say that change is dangerous for traffic due to the visibility when turning, especially for drivers who aren't used to the switch and might drive by the warning that says cross traffic does not stop.

Zellner said he spoke with the traffic safety committee regarding the issue, and they are looking at adding a trip to Felton St. light.