Tipline: Dangerous Main Street Medians?

6:12 PM, Oct 17, 2011   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y.- Some people are concerned that an intersection in the city of Buffalo is at best confusing, and at worst, dangerous.

A law enforcement officer who wishes to remain anonymous contacted the 2-On-Your-Side Tipline with pictures of cars that had crashed on the median on Main Street just beyond Humboldt Parkway.

The medians are park of a multi-million dollar Main Street improvement project that was funded mainly by the federal government, and received some funding from the state and the city.

The officer says his department has responded to dozens of calls there since the median was installed about two years ago.

The confusion appears to stem from a left-turn lane that some people say comes up too quickly, and isn't clearly marked.

Drivers that don't turn left, and are unfamiliar with the intersection, sometimes find themselves coming up quick on the median, and maybe even crash into it. The troubles get even worse after dark, the officer said.

The situation got so bad that this summer, a group of concerned citizens met with members of the Buffalo Common Council to determine what could be done.

Delaware District Councilmember Michael LoCurto was there, and he said the City Department of Public Works was receptive to making changes.

"Public works has gone out there and looked at the site, and talked about maybe more striping, better signage or flashing lights," said LoCurto. "I think it's something that they have to address, and I think they need to speed up on that."

"The ball has been rolling," said Department of Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak. "But remember when you do a change like this, remember this is a big federal project that has some mandates to it, and in order for us to go and change, we have to be careful that we don't have to pay any part of that project back, number one, and it was a DOT design as well, so we're just making sure that everything we do is proper, and we don't create a hazard, and we solve the issue and move forward."

The medians were added about two years ago as part of a multi-million dollar government project.

Stepniak says his office has commissioned a study done in conjunction with a private firm that will help them determine how to move forward.

Those results are expected next week, and the suggestions could include anything from reconfiguring the median to removing it entirely.















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