Weekly Feature

2017-12-07 / Front Page

Families wary of Juniper Boulevard crossings

by AMY ROBB Editor

Aliesa Adelman raised concerns at Monday night’s Lancaster Town Board meeting about Juniper Boulevard, which has become a busy thoroughfare in the northeast corner of town.

“Juniper is a mile long, just about a mile long. There are very few, if any, curb cuts and places to cross on that east-west way,” said Adelman.

“Children, in particular, are riding their bikes, as you know that area is very heavily populated by families with kids. They’re waiting on the sidewalk or even where there are curb cuts, and let’s say take their bike down, and they’re not able to cross where it’s safe.”

Area residents started a petition in the summer regarding Juniper and have gained more than 50 signatures, with the number growing.

Adelman, who lives on Sterling Place, was particularly concerned with the crossing at Red Clover Lane and Juniper, especially with Juniper curving, causing a diagonal crossing area.

“By the time the children are able to take their bikes and cross over there at that diagonal, or because there aren’t curb cuts where there should be, the time for them to get up there, they lose that distance when the cars are coming,” added Adelman.

Juniper is technically a residential road, but speed and traffic congestion are still issues families must deal with, as the street connects Pleasant View Drive and Walden Avenue, and cars often cut through the area.

Newer patio homes closer to Walden have two crosswalks for residents, but for Adelman, that’s three-quarters of a mile from the Sterling Juniper intersection.

Adelman also touched on a concern for accessibility for residents in the area:

“People, whether it’s family members that visit or residents who live there, like mothers and parents of small children using strollers, you can’t cut, use or cross a lot of these different areas.”

The board was receptive to Adelman’s suggestions of creating curb cuts and adding crosswalks and/or stop signs.

Supervisor Johanna Coleman said, “We could sit down with [Dan Amatura, highway supervisor], as well as [Councilman Matthew Walter], who has brought this up before. Maybe between Matt and myself and the highway superintendent, we can take a drive out there and look at it.”

“You can look at a map, you can look at paper, even Google Earth, but there’s nothing like being out there and seeing what the actual challenges are,” Coleman said.

Adelman agreed to meet town officials at Juniper to take a look at what the traffic is like.

The Sterling Place resident also mentioned a traffic study, but Coleman and Police Chief Gerald Gill advised that the study would only confirm what the town already knows.

“I don’t dispute the volume of traffic throughout Lancaster, so a traffic study would only acknowledge that there’s traffic. Curb cuts are way beyond our control [for the Police Department],” Gill said.

Councilwoman Dawn Gaczewski mentioned that there are traffic grants available that the town can apply for to add crosswalks and curb cuts to Juniper, which the town may look into.

“Juniper is just one area. I can think of a couple other north-south corridors that can possibly benefit from safer crosswalks, whether they’re lit, flashing lights, something to let oncoming traffic be aware that there are pedestrians crossing,” added Walter regarding a possible grant.

Other notable resolutions on Monday night’s agenda involved a rejection of proposals from two energy service companies to possibly replace the town’s current supplier, School and Municipal Energy Cooperative of Western New York.

According to Town Engineer Ed Schiller, the two companies didn’t submit all the necessary paperwork to be considered further, even after the town reached out to each company detailing what exactly was still needed.

Although the proposals were rejected, prospective energy service companies can submit them to the town again.

Another resolution set a public hearing at 7:15 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, for Don Damato, 43 Greenmeadow Drive, who is looking to rezone his residence to include a firearm business out of his home.

The next Lancaster Town Board meeting will be at 7 p.m. Monday, Dec. 18, at 21 Central Ave. in Lancaster. There is always a work session a half-hour prior to each meeting.

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