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Plans to bring Costco to Amherst create traffic concerns

Costco
Posted at 3:03 PM, May 31, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 17:47:38-04

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WKBW) — With Costco coming to Amherst's popular shopping area in the Niagara Falls Boulevard corridor, area residents want to know how roadways will be reconfigured to accommodate the anticipated additional traffic.

“On a weekend I can sit here in a chair and just watch traffic backed all the way down to Lowes," said Todd Helming, who lives along North Bailey Avenue and Meyer Road. "So I don’t know where all this traffic’s going to go.”

Helming is worried that part of his property will be dug up to make room to expand North Bailey into a four-lane roadway.

"I mean, my bedroom window is 15-20 feet from the road. If they take another lane, [the road] is going to be in my living room," said Helming.

Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa acknowledges that something needs to be done to relieve the already-clogged arteries around Niagara Falls Boulevard.

"The reality is North Bailey Avenue does not flow very well as a road, and neither does Ridge Lea, which puts all the traffic back up on Maple," said Kulpa. "If we can reestablish those roads, we’ll be in a lot better shape as a town."

Kulpa calls the Costco project a "catalyst" for road infrastructure improvement.

To date, Amherst officials have not received a site plan or permit applications, according to a spokeswoman for the town.

In response to a request for comment, a Costco representative wrote in an email "it is our company policy to not comment regarding future Costco warehouses until we are ready to share details about the new location (usually 2-3 months in advance)."

Kulpa believes Costco and property owner Benderson Development will have to reestablish and rebuild North Bailey, Ridge Lea Road, and Romney Road.

Helming is asking for transparency in the redevelopment process, and hopes that whatever discussions there are about road reconfiguration include him.

"Just say, 'hey you’re a neighbor, we’d like to sit down and discuss any issues you might have, or how can we help you so that this isn’t a big pain for you," said Helming.

Costco will open at the former site of Tony Roma's restaurant at 4200 Ridge Lea Road across from The Boulevard Consumer Square. Construction is expected to begin in spring 2023.