Work to Begin on Main St. in Williamsville

Goal is to make street safer for pedestrians

Tom Puckett
June 04, 2018 - 4:00 am

Williamsville, NY (WBEN) Main Street commuting will become more of a challenge this season as construction crews work on rehabilitating Main Street into a pedestrian friendly road. 

The project will mill and resurface the pavement on Main Street between Interstate 290 and Williamsville east village line.  There will continue to be two travel lanes in each direction with a continuous two-way left turn lane.  Streetscape improvements will be included within the Central Business District in Williamsville funded through a $2.1 million federal Transportation Enhancement Program grant awarded to the Village.      

RELATEDAllan Harris in WBEN Traffic Command reports on Main St. work

Susan Surdej with the DOT says curb bump-outs will be part of the project. "The purpose of the bump-out is to extend the sidewalk to reduce the crossing distance for pedestrians and allow pedestrians and drivers to see each other when there are cars in the parking lane," explains Surdej.  Curb bump-outs will be installed at the intersections of Main Street with Grove Street/Los Robles, North Cayuga/South Cayuga, mid-block in front of the Williamsville Village Hall, Mill Street/Young Plaza and Garrison Road.  

Surdej says a HAWK signal, similar to one on Sheridan in Tonawanda, will be installed in front of Williamsville Village Hall. "That's used to control traffic at an unsignalized location and help pedestrians cross safely," says Surdej. The HAWK consists of two red lenses above a single yellow lens.  The beacon remains dark until a pedestrian pushes a button to activate the HAWK.  After displaying brief flashing and steady yellow intervals, the HAWK displays a steady red indication to motorists and a “WALK” indication to pedestrians, allowing them to cross a mid block crossing while traffic is stopped.  After the pedestrian phase ends, the “WALK” indication changes to a flashing orange hand to notify pedestrians that their clearance time is ending.  The HAWK then displays alternating flashing red indications to motorists while pedestrians finish their crossings before going dark again at the conclusion of the cycle.

Surdej admits commuters will see reduced lanes and lane closures during construction. 

For businesses like Glen Park Tavern, co-owner Ellie Grenauer admits there will be early concerns about losing business. "I am budgeting to take a bit of a sales hit," says Grenauer. But she says sometimes you have to give something to get something. "We've been talking about the fact it may get rid of the extra traffic we don't really need, and then people who want to get to our business can get there easier." 

Grenauer says she's looking forward to the HAWK signal. "Main Street is crazy in the morning, even on a Saturday morning, and it's dangerous, so I'm excited about the HAWK signal," says Grenauer, who also helps organize the farmer's market on Saturdays. "We're looking forward to have a village that looks better, easier for pedestrians."

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