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Possible closing of Bayview Road would affect Bills traffic

Another change is being considered for Bayview Road in Hamburg, on a section that many Buffalo Bills fans use to get to and from Ralph Wilson Stadium.

The Town of Hamburg is thinking of closing off Bayview at the railroad tracks just west of Willowdale Avenue.

That comes in the wake of New York State’s expected closing of the median at Bayview Road and Route 5. That intersection has been the site of a number of serious accidents, including fatalities.

If Bayview is also closed at the tracks, that would throw the westbound traffic heading to Route 5, and eastbound traffic going to Bills games, onto Big Tree Road.

“A lot of people just go down that road to make a right to go to work,” said resident Joe Kilian, asking where they would go.

“Not even a mile up the road is the Bayview/Big Tree fork, and Big Tree takes you to Route 5 as well,” Supervisor Steven Walters said, adding that there is a traffic signal at Big Tree and Route 5.

It isn’t a new plan. Hamburg planning consultant Drew Reilly said Monday night that proposal was made 20 years ago.

“Can Big Tree Road handle that traffic? That hasn’t been looked at,” he said.

The town’s Traffic Safety Committee is recommending the closure, and the Town Board on Monday said a study should be done to determine how that would affect traffic, and if Big Tree Road could handle the additional vehicles.

As New York State is planning to close the Bayview Road intersection with Route 5 at Hoover Beach, it would construct a new access road that would enter Route 5 through what is now Universal Equipment across from the new Lake Erie Boulevard.

The new boulevard would connect the FedEx building under construction now and the industrial park directly to Route 5. It also would connect to Bayview Road, providing access to the Greater Woodlawn Federal Credit Union on the corner of Bayview and Route 5, as well as the rest of the industrial property on the south side of Bayview, Walters said.

Lake Erie Boulevard, which is being built by the FedEx developer, will be turned over to the Town of Hamburg when it is finished.

It’s not known how closing Bayview would affect the planned construction of a quiet zone at the rail crossing. Highway Superintendent Tom Best said he doesn’t think the quiet zone would be needed.