A heavily traveled section of Route 5 in Hamburg that has been the scene of a number of traffic fatalities will be the focus of a traffic study, Rep. Jack Quinn, R-Hamburg, announced Saturday.
Quinn has secured $300,000 in federal transportation funding for the study on Route 5 in the Lake Shore-Lake View area. He is expected to announce the funding at a news conference Monday.
"A number of lakeshore residents have told me that something must be done to address the existing traffic situation on Route 5," Quinn said Saturday.
He said he has been working with the state Department of Transportation to solve problems with the road to satisfy both motorists and neighborhood residents.
"Something has to be done," Ronald Hayes, Quinn's director of community development, said Saturday. "It can't stay as it is. It's not serving either the traveling public or the community."
Hayes said the DOT, which has agreed to provide $75,000 in matching funds, has wanted to rebuild Route 5 since the 1980s.
Since that time, area residents have raised concerns about the traffic congestion in the area. Some residents would like officials to further evaluate the concept of a three-lane highway, using the center lane as a turning lane, to replace the existing four-lane traffic pattern, he said.
The highway's location on the Seaway Trail also played a part in securing the funding from the federal government.
Janet Woelfling, chairwoman of the Lake Shore Road Preservation and Safety Coalition and a member of the Route 5 Task Force, said safety was a primary concern.
"We've had a huge number of fatalities, about 26 in a six-year period," she said. "We've had four in 1998 alone."