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Temporary curb 'bump-outs' installed on Abbott Road as part of pilot program for major infrastructure project

Posted: 5:51 PM, Jul 10, 2019
Updated: 2019-07-10 17:51:54-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — If you've driven down Abbott Road, noticed orange poles along the curbs and wondered what they were, they're there to allow you to get a test run of what a bump-out would be.

"These are nothing that's been set in stone, this isn't a decision that's been made. This is why we wanted to do the pilot program," said Councilmember Chris Scanlon with the Buffalo Common Council.

The purpose of the orange poles - which were installed on Tuesday - is to give pedestrians more walking room and encourage drivers to slow down, especially for cars that are going to turn left or right.

"It squeezes the road down for people to hopefully slow down as well when driving down the street," said Scanlon.

The four to six week pilot program is part of a major infrastructure project called the Abbott Road Streetscape project. Councilmember Scanlon has been working with the Department of Public Works to beautify the streets and curbs.

The major overhaul would include benches, light fixtures, planters and trash receptacles.

But one of the businesses we spoke to along Abbott Road said the bump-outs are taking away parking spaces.

"It's a nice idea for making the street and the community nicer, for small businesses it's going to be an inconvenience for parking," said Rosemary Lopez, a groomer at Doggy Doos Grooming.

Lopez said her customers can quickly drop off and pick up their dogs in front of the building, as long as they put their hazards on. But with the temporary bump-outs in place, they wouldn't be able to do that.

"This is right across the street from a church, so when there's church services or a funeral, there is no parking around here," said Lopez.

Councilmember Scanlon is encouraging similar feedback from all community members.

"I like the fact that they're not just doing it, they're testing it and making sure they're getting everybody's feedback," said Lopez.

While the bump-outs are in a test period, construction on phase one of the entire project begins in spring of next year.