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Amherst board won’t extend dead-end street to Transit Road

It’s good news for northeast Amherst residents who are trying to fend off the town from extending their dead-end street onto Transit Road.

Amherst officials have backed away from plans to connect Glen Oak Drive with Transit, as part of a half-million-dollar drainage project scheduled for next year.

“At the present time, we’re eliminating the connection,” said Building Commissioner Thomas C. Ketchum.

The town is firming up capital-improvement plans for next year, which include a $585,000 drainage project to replace and modify a culvert on the east side of Smith Road at Glen Oak. That should help reduce flooding in the Ransom Oaks neighborhood, which is traditionally plagued by swollen creek waters.

Residents are happy about the flood-relief project, but concerned that it included plans to extend Glen Oak by 300 feet to Transit so the neighborhood of roughly 140 homes has a secondary exit.

Glen Oak was supposed to connect with Transit when the subdivision was first built, but it never happened, Ketchum said. The street is about three times longer than what the town normally allows for a dead end, Ketchum said.

Residents, however, feared that connecting Glen Oak with Transit would greatly increase traffic in their neighborhood. They called on the town to abandon the connection and upped the pressure on officials this week when Ransom Oaks residents showed up in force at the Town Board meeting.

Ketchum suggested an alternative might be to extend the dead end, then gate it to be used only as an emergency exit.

But officials sided with the residents. Now, town engineers will move forward on only the culvert project – not the extension of the road.

“I just want to see the culvert,” said Supervisor Barry A. Weinstein. “I don’t want a gate. I don’t want a road. I just want a culvert.”