Just a few months after Busti Avenue residents thought they had rid their neighborhood of a troublesome sign directing traffic to a duty-free shop, another one has turned up on the Peace Bridge.
And so have more problems.
Residents and the Niagara Common Council member are rallying against the new sign for the Ammex duty free shop, which they say will produce nothing but traffic nightmares for the residential street located near the shop on Porter Avenue.
"Ammex has made every attempt to circumvent the will of the neighborhood and the Common Council," said Thomas J. Pisa, president of the Peace Bridge-Columbus Park Association. "It just angers me."
Neighborhood signs for the shop have been a source of friction for years. But Pisa and other neighborhood residents said they thought the problem was over last fall when the Common Council denied the duty-free shop's bid to install a sign on Busti directing traffic to the shop.
Niagara Council Member Carl A. Perla Jr. said he worked then to exclude any new signs along Busti because the area already suffers from heavy traffic and diesel fumes from trucks and cars entering the Peace Bridge.
"We're against the sign because we don't want to increase traffic on Busti," he said. "We're still in the same position."
Perla said he can't understand why the Peace Bridge would allow the sign when its new roadway plan is designed to take all bridge traffic off Busti.
Ammex officials could not be reached to comment, but Peace Bridge Secretary-Treasurer Ronald Lampman said the Peace Bridge Authority recently approved Ammex's request to erect the sign on a bridge abutment. Lampman said he has talked to Pisa about the situation and urged him to put his complaints in writing.
"If he writes to us, it will become an agenda item," Lampman said.
Pisa, former president of the Buffalo Teachers Federation, said he will do that as he continues to criticize Peace Bridge officials for ignoring the neighborhood.
"Ammex is supposed to be a good neighbor, but they've circumvented Common Council action," he said. "And the Peace Bridge has given in to it."