People driving through the village of Kenmore could see some changes later this year on Delaware Avenue. YNN's Katie Cummings spoke with community leaders about how the moves could impact the village.
KENMORE, N.Y. -- In the village of Kenmore, officials say it’s been difficult to drive down Delaware Avenue safely for years.
"Most people know when they travel along Delaware it's back and forth, it's almost like a road race because there is no lanes," said Kenmore mayor Patrick Mang.
Mang says the Department of Transportation conducted a study of the state highway and has asked the village board for approval to make changes.
The new proposal allows drivers to turn left near the intersection of Lincoln Boulevard and Delaware Avenue.
It also calls for the restripping of the road to create a center lane in the village.
Mang says right now, drivers seem to be unsure if the stretch of road is one lane or two, leading to many accidents.
"There's 900 cars at peak per hour traveling Delaware, so when you’re traveling Delaware and you're moving along and you can’t make a left hand turn, it makes it difficult to visit our businesses," said Mang.
A public hearing was held last Tuesday to discuss the change and Mang says many businesses were in favor of the measure.
The Kenmore Village Improvement Society had many questions initially, but has grown to like the plan.
“The new system will be a little slower, about 16 seconds slower for the whole village, but that's frankly not a big deal," said Dean Pavlakis of the Improvement Society.
However Pavlakis says as a bicyclist, the new plan's lane expansion hurts riders.
"I’m a bike rider so that's a personal one for me,” said Pavlakis. “I avoid Delaware at all costs and I actually think it's going to get more difficult."
There is a bright spot in case the system somehow fails.
"If it doesn’t work out, they have plans to resurface so we can cover it all up,” said Mang.
"If it doesn’t work, if it is causing the problems that people have worried about particularly for right turners and increase traffic, we can go back to the old striping," said Pavlakis.
The village board will vote on the resolution sometime in March and if approved, the DOT hopes to start work in late spring.