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Teen hit on NF Blvd was trying to get to his job

While improvements are being made to Niagara Falls Boulevard, many believe more needs to be done.
Posted at 7:30 PM, Oct 14, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-15 09:45:46-04

TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Another pedestrian has been struck by a vehicle on a dangerous stretch of Niagara Falls Boulevard north of the I-290.

Police did not release the victim's name, but 7 Eyewitness News was able to confirm that it was a 17-year-old who had gotten off a NFTA bus and was attempting to cross the boulevard for his job at the Checker's restaurant.

The injured teen was taken to ECMC with head and spine injuries on Sunday October 13th just after 7 p.m.

"We are just heartbroken and devastated by it," said Checker's co-owner Gail Gentry.

"In the time we have had this restaurant, which is just over three years, we have seen three different people get hit by a car crossing the road," added Gentry.

One of those hit was a construction worker for the restaurant who was killed, explained the owner.

The problem is there are two bus stops near the intersection of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Thistle Avenue - an intersection that has neither traffic signals nor crosswalks.

Since the bus stops are close to multiple restaurants and a soon-to-be-opened Holiday Express hotel, bus-riding workers tend to cross the street close to their employment rather than walking further down to a traffic signal at Edward White Drive.

"They need to put a light up because people are going to continue to cross here," explained Gentry.

In a period of five years from 2013-2018, there were 31 pedestrian crashes on the Niagara Falls Boulevard Corridor, with five of those being fatal.

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) released a study in July 2019 which found multiple items that need improvement for pedestrian safety.

Speed limits were reduced to 40mph and new street lights are now being installed on the Amherst side of the boulevard.

The majority of the improvements will be implemented as part of a $2 million project scheduled for 2020.

You can read the NYSDOT report here.