Niagara Falls Boulevard at Maple Road on May 15, 2018 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Niagara Falls Boulevard to Receive Pedestrian Safety Upgrades

Six pedestrian fatalities in last five years

June 16, 2018 - 5:56 am

AMHERST, N.Y. (WBEN) - The deadly, 6.2 mile stretch of Niagara Falls Boulevard between Kenmore Avenue and Tonawanda Creek Road will receive safety upgrades by the New York State Department of Transportation.

The DOT announced on Friday afternoon that enhanced pavement markings will be installed this year at the signaled intersections of Niagara Falls Boulevard. Officials said it will enhance pedestrian safety along the busy corridor, which has seen a number of pedestrian-involved fatalities over the years, including one last month. Jennifer Duffin, 41, was struck and killed by a vehicle while crossing the 2000 block of Niagara Falls Boulevard. 

Duffin was the sixth person killed along the road in the last five years. 

The enhanced pavement markings will include "high visibility crosswalks", which are also known as ladder bar crosswalks.

"(The paint) certainly jumps out more than what you'd think as traditional white road paint," Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian Kulpa said. "The crosswalk demarcations at night should help a lot. The crosswalks and stop lights, you would think of those as bare bones but the higher visibility is certainly a step in the right direction."

New pavement markings will be installed this year at the following intersections. 

  •     Tonawanda Creek Road
  •     Kohls/Wegmans Plaza
  •     East Robinson Road
  •     Creekside Drive
  •     Irvington Terrace
  •     Park Road/North Ellicott Creek Road
  •     Ellicott Creek Road/South Ellicott Creek Road
  •     Vinson Avenue/Edward White Drive
  •     Willow Ridge Drive
  •     Home Depot Plaza
  •     Greenhaven Terrace
  •     I-290 Westbound Exit Ramp
  •     I-290 Eastbound Exit Ramp
  •     Koenig Road/Ridge Lea
  •     Target Plaza
  •     Glenalby/Romney Road
  •     Maple Road/Brighton Road
  •     Boulevard Mall Center Entrance
  •     Treadwell/Boulevard mall South Entrance
  •     Sheridan Drive
  •     Eggert Road
  •     Longmeadow Drive
  •     Decatur Road
  •     Kenilworth
  •     Kenmore Avenue

Kulpa said in the past he wanted a reduction in curb cuts and more plowed sidewalks along Niagara Falls Boulevard. He also said he wanted to see more staggered bus stops because some of the horrific accidents were the result of people attempting to get to a bus.

"We need to do a better job with the placement of those types of things," he said. "We need to do a better job with finding out if there's a way to reduce the crossing distance. Just in general, narrowing the lanes requires a traffic study."

He also pushed for a lighting project along Niagara Falls Boulevard.

A study on the corridor is underway as part of Governor Andrew Cuomo's "Pedestrian Safety Action Plan". Niagara Falls Boulevard was one of five corridors selected across New York State in the study, which will look at other measures to enhance pedestrian safety. That study will be completed in 2019. 

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