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Thread: How much traffic can Lancasterís William Street safely bear

  1. #1
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    How much traffic can Lancasterís William Street safely bear

    William Street is a two-lane county road with turning lanes only at signalized intersections (Penora, Aurora, Lake & Bowen), numerous open drainage ditches and with shoulders less than three feet (3-ft.) wide in these areas between Transit Road and Aurora Street. The daily vehicle traffic count between Transit Road and Aurora Street is 15,000.

    The traffic count will increase with the mixed-use development taking place at the intersection of William and Aurora, the development of the Cheektowaga Chick-fil-A restaurant at the Transit Road / and Losson Road intersection (Cheektowag) and the proposed Windsor Ridge South Phase II development off William Street - south of Brunck Road, west of Bowen Road. There recently was an auto related death near the Bowen / William intersection.

    The mixed-use development at the William and Aurora intersection is near completion. This is a heavily travelled location with signalization, but with short and narrow turning lanes at every corner. Vehicles travelling this area have to be thinking, ďWhat the hell was the town thinking in approving this project?Ē

    To its credit, the town board rescinded a 2007 SEQRA neg-deg for the Windsor Ridge South Phase II amended preliminary plan application for a subdivision consisting of 195 +/- single family homes on a + 117- acre parcel of land. The Planning Board had reviewed the amended application for the project and recommended to the Town Board that the negative declaration previously issued for the Project on August 20, 2007, be rescinded pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.7(f), based upon substantive project changes, new information, and changes in circumstances related to the project that were not previously considered, which may result in a significant adverse environmental impact, and that a positive declaration be issued until such time the sponsor addresses:

    Wetlands

    Wetland permits have expired. The wetlands have expanded since 2007 and now fall under the jurisdiction of the State. Based on the expanded wetlands, the roadway to Brunck Road is no longer being proposed.

    Traffic

    With the removal of a roadway with access to Brunck Road, subdivision ingress and egress will be limited to Bowen Road and through the Windsor Ridge development and onto to Lake Avenue to the west. 72 homeowners* signed and submitted a petition to the town objecting to the removal of the subdivision access road to Brunck Road in the amended site plan. The petition cited the townís March 20, 2017 resolution to deny a revised site plan design based on the removal of a roadway with access road to Brunck Road. The town declared in 2017 that the access road was critical else there would be a significant adverse traffic impact at the other access points given the density of the Windsor Ridge South plan.

    The Planning Board (PB) recommends an updated and more comprehensive traffic study be performed which shall include the cumulative effect of other projects. The PB noted that cars are racing through Windsor Ridge, Pine Tree Farms and up Lake Avenue. Bowen Road cannot handle the additional traffic. There are so many more developments since the project was first considered.

    Lots

    The Planning Board took issue with the fact that there are too many lots in the amended project design. Wetlands expanded and more lots are proposed than on the original design.

    Mondayís resolution

    The resolution stated: ďAll involved agencies and the Project sponsor shall have until June 12, 2019 at 4:00 PM to respond." At the meeting a project sponsors representative requested extended time to respond to the issues. The project sponsor has had 12 years to prepare for any issues that came along. He was told by the town in 2017 of the critical nature of having a third ingress / egress road (and as was proposed in the 2007 project design).

    Comment

    It appears the county could give a ratís ass about the volume of traffic on this two-lane county road, the associated hazards and safety issues of having open drainage ditches, narrow shoulder lanes that compromise the health and wellbeing of walkers and bicyclists and the difficulty of emergency vehicles by-passing traffic.

    By SEQRA Law the town is obligated to take a hard look at this project to determine whether significant adverse impacts exist. The PB has determined that since the 2007 neg-deg was issued significant adverse impacts do exist and have rescinded the 2007 declaration.

    Kudos to the Town and Planning Boards for their determination. Not only are the homeowners in the immediate area appreciative of your decision, but all along William Street and the subdivisions connecting to it.

    This is not your fatherís planning board!

  2. #2
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    Appropriately so, much of the Lancaster community has been voicing objections to truck traffic on Pleasant View Drive. The town has been working with the State and County to get signage posted to eliminate trucks of certain size and weight on the two-lane county road.

    With Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s directive to replace every physical toll booth in the state with a cashless, electronic system by 2020, the towns The Towns of Lancaster, Clarence and Cheektowaga are hoping the Williamsville toll barrier will be deconstructed and replaced with an electronic gantry.

    Town officials can revisit the idea of having the Thruway Authority install additional Thruway entrances/exits that could alleviate traffic problems in each respective town – Gunnville Road in Lancaster and Youngs Road in Cheektowaga. An entrance at Gunnville Road would alleviate truck and vehicle traffic on Pleasant View Drive.
    At the same time, the county is designing a project to alleviate traffic and traffic safety issues on William Street between Union Road in Cheektowaga and Bowen Road in Lancaster. Without federal and state funding the road improvement project is dead on arrival.

    William Street may not have a truck usage problem, but it well exceeds the overall traffic volume of Pleasant View Drive – on the Lancaster and Cheektowaga side. Soon a Chick fil-A will be opening at the intersection of Transit Road and William. A Delta Sonic is also being built within three-quarters of a mile south of the Transit – William/Losson intersection.

    Despite Willian Street traffic routinely backing up onto Transit Road because of the short queuing distance between signalization at Transit Road and the Walmart/Orville’s signalized driveways, the Lancaster Zoning of Appeals( granted a 35 parking space variance to Benderson Development – required to build a Rachel’s Mediterranean Restaurant in the Aldi’s complex and where traffic exits at Orville’s signal on William.

    The requirement for this tenant buildout space is 193 parking spaces. The tenant has room for only 158 parking spaces and petitioned for and received a 35-parking space variance. If one were to visit the Aldi complex, he or she would have to ask (once again), ‘what the hell is the town thinking’? The spaces are indeed needed and especially when one sees the distance away to the provided parking spaces not immediately in front of the four businesses occupying the retail building – 16 allotted spaces for four businesses; 2 are handicapped spaces. Orville’s employees are already complaining that clients shopping in the Benderson complex are parking on their location.

    It is the ZBA ‘findings’ that are illogical. The ZBA board determined:

    • That the alleged difficulty is self-created, but not to the extent necessary to preclude the granting of the variance. *

    • That the benefit sought by the applicant cannot be achieved by some other method, feasible for the applicant to pursue, other than the variance sought. **

    • That the board has taken into consideration the benefit to the applicant if the variance relief sought is granted as weighed against the detriment to the health, safety and welfare of the community by such grant. ***

    Comments

    *Self-created, indeed. The applicant received building site plan approval in 2017. This complex (Aldi and this building) is General Business zoned and the petitioner had to know this building was required to not exceed number or types of businesses that would impinge on total parking space requirement.

    **The applicant knows what was expected when site plan approval was granted in 2015 - more so when Aldi expanded in 2017.

    ***This variance does indeed adversely impact the safety and welfare of the community. It decreases the number of spaces and forces individuals to walk great greater distances from businesses – and too often in inclement weather; especially snow and icy pavement. With only 16 parking spaces, shared by four businesses, it not only adversely impacts individuals walking greater distances to park, but having to cross a busy main driveway without crosswalk or signage in place to allow pedestrians a break in traffic.

    It is nothing more than once again a developer trying to put 10 lbs. of **** in a 5 lb. bag.

    It was also interesting to see a sign posted in the window of the vacant building location announcing: ‘Rachel’s, coming soon’ before the ZBA hearing took place. And now there is signage on William Street before other necessary town approvals are received.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Lee Chowaniec:
    And now there is signage on William Street before other necessary town approvals are received.
    Lee, could this be the sign permit from Monday's resolutions or is this for some other business in that area?

    30218 4901 Transit Road LLC 4905 Transit Rd Er. Sign - Temp


    Have a GREAT day,
    Georgia Schlager

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