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BUILDING ADDITIONS TABLED AS STATE MAPS WORK ON UNION-WILLIAM BOTTLENECK

Cheektowaga is reviewing plans for business expansions at Union Road and William Street, where the state also has major work in mind for one of the town's most notorious commuter bottlenecks.

The town's Environmental Advisory Committee Wednesday tabled building additions at Creekside Banquet & Picnic Grove, 2669 Union, and Dave's Crafts & Christmas store, located next door at 2675 Union, until it gets word from the state Department of Transportation.

The state project planned for summer includes widening the Union Road bridge over Cayuga Creek, putting in double left-turn lanes at William and Losson Road and installing sidewalks and curbs.

The east-west William-Losson corridor links the Thruway with residential areas of eastern Cheektowaga and Lancaster. Congestion occurs when commuters use a short stretch of Union to get from Losson to William in the morning and from William to Losson in the afternoon.

New sidewalks will give pedestrians a continuous stretch of pavement along Union between French Road and Walden Avenue, a distance of about 2 1/2 miles, according to town officials.

When finished, both the Creekside Banquet & Picnic Grove and Dave's Crafts will have a common entrance. Existing entrances are offset at angles to the traffic light at the T-intersection, confusing motorists unfamiliar with the area.

Plans filed by David M. Gordon, owner of both businesses, propose:

A 3,100-square-foot addition for storage at Dave's Crafts.

A 3,000-square-foot addition at a former Long John Silver's Seafood Shoppe, an adjacent building already used for storage by Dave's Crafts.

The conversion of an attached outdoor pavilion at Creekside into a second banquet room, measuring 7,350 square feet, counting cloakrooms, restrooms and a large foyer. This phase of the project would take place after the summer picnic season.

"Since the DOT will be installing the sidewalks and setting driveway widths and curb cuts along Union, we need them to review (Gordon's) traffic circulation and driveway plan so the new signal can accommodate it," Cheektowaga Council Member Thomas M. Johnson Jr. said Wednesday.

"The vehicle circulation plan encompasses the entire site -- the banquet facilities, the crafts store and Long John Silver's," he said.

Gordon told town officials Wednesday that the projects won't increase his business and, therefore, traffic volumes should stay about the same. Parking lost at the front of the property to the state project is made up for elsewhere on the site, with the addition of more than 60 spaces.

Johnson said Gordon also has promised not to expand to the east or let green space on the site drop below 60 percent.

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