Sandra Burczynski of Hamburg complained in the past about the traffic along Lake Avenue and the difficulty residents of Mother of Good Counsel Apartments have crossing the road.
"It's your home, you know? Whether we're low income or what, doesn't mean we have to die crossing the street," she told WKBW-TV in a report last year.
The incident occurred at about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday in front of the Our Mother of Good Counsel Apartments for low-income elderly residents at 4288 Lake Ave.
Burczynski, 69, died after she was struck by a motor vehicle about 8:40 p.m. Tuesday on the road in front of the apartment building where she lived, Hamburg Town Police said Thursday.
A crosswalk, with lights that flash on either side of the road when a button is pushed, was installed after another resident of the apartment building was struck and died in December 2019 while crossing Lake Avenue.
Burczynski, whose name was provided by the Mother of Good Counsel executive director, was not in the crosswalk, Police Capt. Nicholas Ugale said.
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She was helping a cat.
"I believe she was trying to attend to an animal that was injured on the side of the road," Ugale said.
The driver was not charged.
"It was, completely, an accident," Ugale said. "The driver was there, and, obviously, upset about the situation."
Jim Lonergan, executive director of the apartments, said Burczynski "was an upstanding member of our community, very active in a lot of things.” He said many of the residents also knew Marguerite O'Neil, 66, the woman fatally struck in 2019.
“This has caused a lot of trauma with our residents,” Lonergan said, adding that management looked to arrange counseling for residents.
Residents were happy to see the crosswalk installed in 2020, he said, although motorists are still "really flying" when they go by the building.
“As of last summer, we’re seeing it was still pretty challenging for folks to get across that street,” Lonergan said.
About 12,300 cars travel the section of road every day.
"The town has looked at safety in this area on Lake Avenue for 33 years," Supervisor Randy Hoak said.
A request for a traffic signal was turned down years ago, he said.
"The town and the county have taken steps to make that stretch safer," Hoak said, "but, obviously, there's a lot more to be done."
Burczynski used the crosswalk regularly, the supervisor said.
"You know, people said, 'Well, she wasn't using the crosswalk.' She wasn't using it because she didn't have a need to use a crosswalk," Hoak said.
He also said the area needs traffic calming measures. The speed limit is 40 mph, but motorists driving toward South Park Avenue are coming down an incline from the bridge over the Thruway as the road widens from two to four lanes, prompting some motorists to speed in that area.
Our Mother of Good Counsel Apartments opened in the Town of Hamburg, just outside the Blasdell village line, in 1989. The building has 39 one-bedroom affordable apartments for low income senior citizens, and is close to a pharmacy, post office and stores. Most residents do not drive.
A Save A Lot grocery store is in the Shoppes at Lake Avenue plaza on the opposite side of the road. A Dollar General store is directly across from the apartments.
The traffic signal at South Park and Lake Avenue is about two-tenths of a mile away, which can be a long way for people who have difficulty walking.
Hoak said residents should be able to walk safely along roads, and cross them.
"I think we need to provide those amenities and, at the same time, look at traffic calming measures," the supervisor said. "I don't know what those other measures are, but I know that other communities have successfully addressed these types of issues."