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DOT TO STUDY LAKE SHORE ROAD RESIDENTS' SAFETY CONCERNS

The state Department of Transportation has formed a task force dedicated to addressing traffic safety concerns on Lake Shore Road in Hamburg.

Residents living along Lake Shore Road (Route 5) for years have pleaded for slower traffic, fewer trucks and safer conditions along the road.

The formation of the task force was a result of a meeting last week between DOT Regional Director Robert Russell and Hamburg Councilwoman Kathleen Courtney Hochul.

In 1985, the state proposed widening Route 5, a project that would include improvements to poor drainage in the area. Residents and the Town Board have opposed that plan, saying it would lead to faster traffic and would detract from the scenic route.

Russell told her that plan is completely off the table, Ms. Hochul said.

The DOT did agree to restudy the feasibility of activating the Rogers Road traffic signal at Lake Shore, which will be one of the first items for the task force to examine. The town asked last summer for the signal to be activated, and the state approved a new signal at Cloverbank Road.

"I am still very pleased that Cloverbank has been approved, and in fact, asked the DOT to investigate whether its installation could be expedited," Ms. Hochul said. "However, given that approximately 6,000 motorists turn off Lake Shore Road daily and left turns onto Lake Shore Road are so dangerous, I'd like Rogers Road as an option."

The task force would study data comparing Lake Shore Road to other highways and ultimately examine possible "traffic-calming techniques," Ms. Hochul said.

Members of the task force include DOT regional traffic engineer James J. Barnack and planning and program manager Eugene J. Nowicki; Hamburg Traffic Safety Coordinator Tim Ellis; Richard Crandall, a member of the Coalition of Lake Shore Taxpayers and chairman of the Hamburg Planning Board; Donna Gonser, a representative of the Lake Shore Road Safety and Preservation Coalition; and Ms. Hochul.

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