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Pedestrians who walk Route 219 between Holiday Valley Road and the Village of Ellicottville could enjoy an added margin of safety if a new sidewalk is built by the state Department of Transportation.

The state agency is studying the sidewalk proposal as the result of a query made by the Ellicottville Town Board four years ago when improvements were under way around the intersection of Route 219 and Holiday Valley Road.

"We asked them then, but they said it was too late and they would consider it next time they were working in the area," said Town Supervisor John Widger.

The town restated the request after learning that state crews would be working nearby during an upcoming Route 242 bridge replacement job. The state DOT recently notified town officials that it would investigate the possibility of extending the sidewalk southward from the village boundary near Signore, on the east side of Jefferson Street, or Route 219. The walkway would end at Burger King, at the intersection of Holiday Valley Road.

Widger said Town Board members agreed during a Tuesday night meeting to cooperate with the DOT study of the matter and provide any necessary information.

"There's a lot of people walking up and down there year-round now. It's heavily trafficked, and it's not the greatest place in the world to be walking. People tend to walk in the street because there isn't any sidewalk," Widger said.

An ongoing Route 219 project within the village boundaries that will slow traffic to one lane throughout this week is not related, he added.

In another matter, M&W Insurance was selected as the low bidder to provide the town's insurance package from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30, 2001. Widger said the company bid $28,000 for coverage in the areas of liability, highway vehicles, equipment, buildings, omissions and errors.

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