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Medians on John Daly Boulevard present traffic safety, aesthetic issues

NIAGARA FALLS - James Bradley was behind the wheel of his car Thursday night as he and his fiancee were leaving Seneca Niagara Casino.

Bradley's fiancee was driving the car ahead of his, as they were trying to cross John Daly Boulevard to head up Falls Street.

It was about 1:30 a.m., Bradley said, and his fiancee's vehicle moved out slowly halfway across John Daly Boulevard. That was when her car was nearly struck by two vehicles going at least 40 mph down John Daly.

"This is a tragedy in the making," Bradley, a 10th Street resident, told the City Council on Monday night.

Drivers who regularly travel that section of roadway know cars turning to go into the casino can regularly backup on John Daly heading north towards Niagara Street, since there's no turning lane.

Vehicles exiting the casino sometimes sit between the medians halfway across the road as they wait for the chance to fully cross the street.

The situation becomes more dangerous when tall weeds impeded drivers' views. Earlier this year, the city paid crews overtime to try to tackle the overgrown plantings.

Council Chairman Glenn A. Choolokian said he's received complaints "all summer" about both traffic safety and appearance of the plantings on the medians along John Daly Boulevard, the stretch of roadway that many use as they enter the city's downtown.

Choolokian said he plans to move on the issue over the next couple months.

The chairman said he has to review the legal parameters of what may be done, which may include possibly having the city work with the state and the casino on the issue.

Planning Board Chairman Richard Smith said one solution may be not to allow traffic to cross John Daly at that point.

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