Frustration over latest pedestrian accident on NF Boulevard

"It's past crisis mode on this roadway," Kulpa said.

Mike Baggerman
October 15, 2019 - 3:00 am

Another pedestrian-involved accident on Niagara Falls Boulevard. Karl Booker, 31, of Tonawanda was struck and suffered non-life threatening injuries when he tried crossing the road on December 3, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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AMHERST, N.Y. (WBEN) - Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa is among the local officials frustrated over safety along Niagara Falls Boulevard after the latest pedestrian-involved accident on the roadway on Sunday night.

"Here we are trying to figure out what to do and at the end of the day, the road is just incorrect," he said. "It needs to fundamentally change. For what is on that road, the road is no longer a safe road to operate."

A 17-year-old boy was seriously injured on the road when he was struck by a 23-year-old woman from Tonawanda on Sunday night. The boy was taken to ECMC with head and neck injuries. No charges have been filed against the woman.

In June, the New York State Department of Transportation announced pedestrian-safety upgrades to the road. It included new pavement markings at multiple intersections between Kenmore Avenue and Tonawanda Creek Road. The DOT then announced a $2 million project to address safety. "No Turn on Red" signals will be added at multiple intersections and the speed limit at the northern end of the road will be reduced from 45 to 40 miles per hour.

Kulpa said it's getting "exceedingly difficult" to deal with the various accidents on Niagara Falls Boulevard.

"I think there were some 300 automobile accidents annually for the last five years," he said. "It's ridiculous."

Kulpa is reluctant to blame a pedestrian because they "aren't armed with 1,000 pounds of metal moving at 40 to 45 miles per hour", but he said that everyone needs to have better situational awareness.

"We have a lot of induced pedestrian activity," he said. "There's a lot of reasons for pedestrians to try and cross. When we operate a road like that, you're really operating a Main Street. If you're going to have a Main Street, you have to make sure that Main Street is safe. If I had the same type of interaction on Main Street in Williamsville, I would be freaking out because of the nature of the businesses. People would say this isn't right and demand immediate action...We need to reduce the limit from 35 down to 30."

Kulpa said the world went into "crisis mode" after a boy was killed on the Scajaquada Expressway.

"It's past crisis mode on this roadway," Kulpa said.

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