Traffic concerns before Walmart grand opening
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AMHERST, N.Y. — Just days before the big grand opening, crews are still working on the traffic lights and entrances to the new Walmart SuperCenter in Amherst.
Situated at the busy corner of Bailey Avenue and Sheridan Drive, many residents prior to the project being approved expressed concerns over traffic the 185,000 square foot store would bring to the area.
One woman who didn't want to go on camera told YNN she's lived in this neighborhood for more than 50 years, and she's worried about the traffic Walmart will bring through her neighborhood.
"I think the biggest concern is, how much traffic is going to go onto North Bailey, because quite honestly its a congested street now," said Amherst Town Board member Guy Marlette.
Marlett says none of the current Town Board members were in office when the project was approved, but he says the board wanted to make sure everything was done to minimize the traffic impact on the area.
“What you see it is that Sheridan Drive has been widened to accommodate additional traffic. You see they put a light on Sheridan Drive that will be in use once the Walmart is open and obviously their hope is that the traffic stays on Sheridan Drive. I don't think that's a reality,” said Marlette.
While some residents are expressing concern over the traffic the new Walmart will bring, many say the store is providing the underdeveloped commercial corridor with a much needed economic boost, creating more than 250 jobs and bringing more potential customers for other businesses to the area.
Marlette says the board just wants to make sure Walmart's success isn't at the expense of residents or small businesses.
"I think the Town Board has an obligation and we're looking at that obligation to provide incentives for existing business owners to update their businesses to take advantage of some tax incentives so that it makes them more competitive," said Marlette.
Marlette says the town plans to conduct a traffic impact study for the six six months after the store opens to determine if any adjustments are necessary.