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Fix It / What needs repairing in Buffalo Niagara Lack of lines leads to risky crossing

This call to Fix It falls under the category of incomplete projects.

A woman reports that while Avery Avenue in North Buffalo was repaved last year, the pedestrian crosswalk still hasn't been relined. "It's kind of a dangerous crossing," she said in a voice mail.

Sure enough, the eastern section of Avery Avenue is among several streets citywide where Fix It noticed new pavement but no crosswalk markings.

Joseph N. Giambra, the city's public works commissioner, said that work will be contracted in the spring.

"We will follow up with the crosswalks," Giambra said, adding that such projects usually are handled one Common Council district at a time. Within the districts, "There's not really any rhyme or reason to it," he said.

Typically, crosswalks near schools and high-traffic areas are handled first, Giambra said.

When it comes to crosswalk markings on city streets, "There's nothing that says they must be marked," Giambra said.

State-owned roads -- like Delaware Avenue and Main Street -- with traffic signals require crosswalk markings at all four sides of an intersection, according to Susan Surdej, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation's regional office in Buffalo.

Intersections with stop signs require "stop bars," which are white pavement markings to indicate where motorists should stop.

"That gives the pedestrians safe crossing distance at the intersec
tion," Surdej said.

In the meantime, here's some food for thought before stepping off a curb: Under state vehicle and traffic law, "Every pedestrian crossing a roadway at any point other than within a marked crosswalk or within an unmarked crosswalk at an intersection shall yield the right of way to all vehicles on the roadway."

Fix It is here to help get action on problems that readers of The Buffalo News encounter in their everyday travels. To report such situations, leave a voice mail message on the Fix It line at 849-6026; e-mail fixit@buffnews.com; or send a letter to Fix It, c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, NY 14203.

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