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Traffic, pedestrian safety, parking, police are discussed

Concerns about traffic, pedestrian safety, parking and police services dominated the discussion at Monday's meeting of the Village Board.

Police Chief Christopher P. Salada said that more than $100,000 in grants for the Police Department have been approved and that an application has been submitted for an additional $25,000.

Salada said a $100,000 grant will be used for an electric generator at Police Headquarters on Creek Road to provide more power for the department's radio communications system.

The headquarters are in the former administration building on the Lewiston-Porter Central School campus.

The chief said a separate grant of $3,500 will be used to provide bullet-resistant vests for members of his department. Salada added that State Sen. George D. Maziarz, R-Newfane, is working on a $25,000 grant application for a police patrol car.

Salada also warned board members that pedestrian safety in the streets is becoming an increasing concern along with the influx of traffic during the Artpark season and the many summer festivals in Lewiston.

Pedestrian crossings along Center Street, the village's main thoroughfare, are clearly marked, the chief said, but many drivers are distracted and fail to give pedestrians the right of way. He added that some pedestrians ignore the dangers and walk out into the flow of traffic without making sure the way is clear.

Other pedestrians walk in village streets instead of on the sidewalks, and many of them walk unsafely with their backs toward the oncoming traffic, Salada pointed out. He said officers will pay special attention to maintain safety on all streets and crosswalks.

In line with efforts to separate pedestrians from vehicular traffic, the board turned down a request from Lewiston-Porter varsity football coach Jonathan Hoover to allow students to collect donations at stop signals along Center Street on June 2 and 16 to raise money for football uniforms and helmets.

Stressing that they fully support the team and its fundraising efforts, the board unanimously agreed to suggest that the team sponsor a car wash fundraiser in the parking lot behind Village Hall, 145 N. Fourth St.

"We don't want to tie up traffic on Center Street," Mayor Terry C. Collesano said, "and it's not safe for people to collect money in the street."

Board members said they would speak with the coach about their offer to use the village property for the fundraiser.

In another traffic-related matter, the board ordered the installation of four-way stop signs at Cayuga Street and Portage Road. Salada said a four-way stop would make the intersection safer than the present two-way stop signs.

Board members also authorized reconfiguration of parking spaces along Portage across from Academy Park. The spaces would be realigned in front of a row of store fronts housing Hibbard's cleaners, insurance agency and liquor store.

The board said the reconfiguration would make the parking safer and more accessible.