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Tim Hortons proposal stirs traffic concerns in Cheektowaga

It’s been promoted as a possible solution to traffic problems down the street, but Cheektowaga officials fear that a new Tim Hortons restaurant at Union Road and William Street could cause problems of its own.

The new restaurant, with drive-thru service, would be part of an expansion and makeover of a Sunoco gas station on the northwest corner of that intersection, where a car wash also is proposed. An attorney representing the owner told lawmakers that the new location could help ease congestion at a freestanding Tim Hortons at Union and Losson roads, approximately 800 feet to the south.

A traffic study of that site by the company indicated that 182 southbound vehicles made a left turn across northbound lanes during a two-hour period one morning last month, the attorney said. The thinking is that southbound motorists could safely turn right to access the new location, then exit onto William Street.

More recently, Councilman Jerry Kaminski spent time during a four-day period in the parking lot of a nearby banquet hall, watching traffic. He talked about what he saw during a Town Board work session last week.

“There’s just too many turns there to make the traffic flow,” Kaminski said. “I don’t have a problem with [the proposed store]; it’s just the wrong place.”

Kaminski suggested that a better location might be the Sunoco station on the southwestern corner of the intersection, which is owned by the same person.

Lawmakers shared concerns about motorists trying to get back onto Union Road once they leave the property.

“I’m worried about the ones making a right hand turn [onto William] and trying to get back on Union,” said Town Supervisor Mary F. Holtz, who noted that the state and Erie County are averse to the installation of “No Left Turns” signs.

“This intersection is bad,” agreed Councilwoman Diane Benczkowski, who cited traffic attempting to access nearby office buildings on William Street.

“I think we have to get another traffic study,” Holtz said. Lawmakers informally agreed.