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State seeks comment on changing South Park Avenue to two lanes

New York State is looking to re-stripe a section of South Park Avenue in Hamburg after nearly four dozen accidents over a three-year period. The work would result in four lanes instead of two, with a turning lane in the middle.

The two-way, center turn lane would extend from Milestrip Road to Big Tree Road. The reason for the change is to cut down on the number of rear-end accidents.

A public information session on the proposal will be conducted from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday at the Big Tree Fire Hall, 4307 South Park Ave. There will be displays explaining the project, and a formal presentation will be made at 6:30 p.m. Representatives will be on hand to receive comments and answer questions.

The state Department of Transportation looked at accidents along that stretch of road from April 2010 to March 2013, said Susan Surdej, DOT spokeswoman.

There were 46 accidents over that period, clustered at five intersections.

Most of the accidents involved vehicles waiting to turn left that were rear-ended.

The normal corrective action for that would be to create left lane turn bays, but the intersections are too close together and would create an unsafe pattern of one and two lane sections, she said.

Another type of accident occurred when residents were backing out of their driveways onto the small shoulder, she said.

The re-striping of the road would allow the shoulders to be wider, Surdej said. The road also would be resurfaced.

The project is being designed, and the state is looking for public comments. Construction is expected to start next summer and be finished by next winter.

The re-striping has nothing to do with the roundabout at South Park and Big Tree, although the state is watching that intersection, which has been the site of two fatal accidents.

“We have increased the signing around the roundabout,” she said. “That is definitely a location we monitor.”