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Gas station project draws concern over traffic in Town of Niagara

TOWN OF NIAGARA – A proposal to put a combination convenience store and gas station on a key commercial parcel that has been home to restaurants for decades is expected to be considered soon by the town's Planning Board.

But Town Board members have let the developer know that he will have a difficult time making the project work at an intersection known as a traffic headache.

Jonathan D. Wocher of the Ohio consulting firm of McBride Dale Clarion, told board members earlier this month that he has brought the proposal to put a Speedway store at the intersection of Packard and Military roads to the town Planning Board. But he said he also wanted feedback from the councilmen.

The parcel, located in the area traditionally referred to as “six corners,” was home to Page’s Restaurant, a popular family-style establishment that featured amusement rides, a custard stand and was “home of the whistle pig” hot dog, a longtime local favorite. The original owner sold the location, which was resurrected under new ownership. The property has since been the location of Clancy’s Bar and Restaurant for a number of years.

Although some board members voiced disappointment the highly visible location would no longer be home to a restaurant, the main complaint was the location of the entrances to the property, one of which would be on Porter Road.

Supervisor Lee Wallace warned Wocher about the design of the traffic flow. He said that drivers would never be able to make a left turn onto Porter because of traffic. He suggested the planner’s engineers prepare a traffic study to review where the entrances and exits would be best located.

Board member Richard Sirianni said he was concerned that the new business would bring additional traffic to the intersection, which is already considered one of the busiest in Niagara County during the afternoon rush hour. A bottleneck situation would result and the increased traffic would bring an increased number of accidents, he said.

Wallace conceded that “no matter what we put in” traffic problems would result. Police Chief James Suitor told the board that between 2:30-4:15 p.m., the area is one of the busiest intersections in Niagara County.

Deputy Supervisor Charles Teixiera said he thought the plan was “not a bad project” but it needs readjustment. Many variances would be required before it could be approved. As is, the site plan “wouldn’t get (the) three votes” necessary to pass the board.

Wocher is expected to pursue the project with the Planning Board.

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