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Traffic congestion cited near Town of Tonawanda doughnut shop

Overflow customers picking up their morning sugar jolt from Paula’s Donuts on Sheridan Drive are causing traffic congestion by parking on both sides of a neighboring residential street, according to Town of Tonawanda police.

The Town Board on Monday agreed to have “No Parking” signs installed on the east side of Gettysburg Avenue from Woodland Drive to Sheridan Drive, the area adjacent to the plaza containing Paula’s and other businesses.

“We received complaints from residents around that area, Woodland mostly, because of the traffic that’s in and out of Paula’s Donuts,” Police Chief Jerome C. Uschold told the board.

Customers who can’t find a spot in the parking lot often park on Gettysburg, causing a traffic issue for morning commuters who live behind the plaza. Huge snowbanks this winter narrowed the street, one resident told the board during a hearing.

“We all agree that there’s a problem with Paula’s Donuts and parking, but I’m not sure that just putting a No Parking sign on that section of Gettysburg is going to be the best help,” Gettysburg resident Sharon Sheehan said.

She worried that customers would just park farther south on Gettysburg in front of homes.

Sheehan suggested banning parking on the west side instead, but the chief said the department’s traffic bureau specifically chose the east side to improve drivers’ visibility and sightlines.

Another issue is that cars on the west side park too close to the intersection with Sheridan, Sheehan said.

“It may be that after these No Parking signs are installed that we have to review the issue,” Uschold said. “But it sounds like the more pertinent issue is enforcement.”

Vehicles may not park within 15 feet of a crosswalk, he said. “We’ll observe that and enforce it if need be,” the chief said.

In other business:

• The board awarded a bid by Prentice Office Environments to replace seating in the Municipal Building’s court auditorium. The cost of $28,218.80 is covered by a state grant and should be done over the summer, officials said.

• Councilman Daniel J. Crangle said an episode of “House Hunters” featuring a town couple at the Brighton Park outdoor driving range will air at 10 p.m. April 1 on HGTV.