Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors

Walnut Street

June 12, 2018 - 2:50pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Walnut Street, Tonawanda Creek, batavia, news.

fivewalnut.jpg

Erik Saluste is looking for some help from the city in keeping people off his property at 5 Walnut St., Batavia.

He said trespassers are a huge and consistent problem. 

His property backs up to the Tonawanda Creek and he doesn't want people on his land when they want to sightsee, fish, or kayak on the creek.

"People think that all the houses on Walnut Street, Route 98, that back against the creek allow public access," told the City Council last night during public comments. "There is no public access. My property line extends to where the creek ends. I’ve posted no trespassing signs on my property."

He said he's had to call police about trespassers four times already this year.

He said he brought the issue to the City Council four years ago and nothing happened. He said he applied for a building permit to install a fence on his property line and it was denied.

He took that as the city asserting easement rights but he said the city has no easement rights. The state has easement rights 50 feet in from the creek and that he was told he could build structures within the easement, but if the state needed the structures removed for flood control measures he would have to remove the structures.

Interim City Manager Matt Worth said he will need to research it but he believes the state might be concerned about a fence catching tree limbs and other debris that could contribute to a flooding issue.

Saluste thinks a fence from the footbridge to 1 Walnut might help alleviate the problem and said he would be willing to help pay for it. He said the problem is a huge privacy and liability issue for him.

"You do have to realize that until I have satisfaction in this area I’m going to continue to call Batavia Police Department every time I have somebody (trespassing)," Saluste said. "I’m not going to confront them anymore because they’ve almost become physical on certain occasions and I don’t want that to happen."

The council instructed Worth to look into the issue further.

UPDATE: Felipe Oltramari, county planning director, brought this to our attention:

Per DEC’s website (https://www.dec.ny.gov/outdoor/8371.html): “If a waterway is navigable in fact, the right to public navigation authorizes a boater to get out of the boat to pull it around obstacles or to get around obstacles by portaging over private property, so long as the portage is by the most direct and least intrusive safe route possible.”

This property is right at the dam so a kayaker or canoer could come ashore legally on Mr. Saluste’s land for the purposes of getting around the dam while navigating the creek.  

PHOTO: Screen grab from county's GIS map, shows, from the top, 1 Walnut, 3 Walnut, and 5 Walnut.

December 23, 2013 - 9:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street, weather, Law Street.

Law Street (above, from the western end), and Route 98 (below, from the northern end) remain closed, though the floodwaters have receded significantly since last night.

December 22, 2013 - 6:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street.

Batavia PD officers were kept busy this afternoon just trying to keep drivers from boating through an obviously flooded Oak Street.

Even once the street was closed by authorities, drivers still wanted to head either north or south.

Shawn Hargrave, who lives across from Hackett TV on Walnut, watched the cars go by and the police try to deal with it.

For awhile, there was an officer parked in front of her house, blocking traffic before the signs went up.

"There were a lot of people pulling up, walking to his window and complaining that they couldn't drive through," she said.

Once the signs went up, that still wasn't a deterrent to drivers who took "street closed" as merely a suggestion.

"We watched a newer Jeep come down and the driver stopped and he got out and moved the barriers," Hargrave said. "Unfortunately, he left the barricade open and some cars almost got stuck in the floodwaters."

Once the signs were up on the south side of the flooded section of street, a police officer still needed to be stationed on the north side to keep drivers from trying to go around the barricades.

Hargrave watched northbound driver after driver roll up to the barricades in front of her house and seemingly contemplate whether to go through before deciding to turn around.

Perhaps the most frustrated drivers to come up to the barricade were truck drivers.

The drivers were likely trying to make their way toward Pavilion, but hit the road closed sign on Route 20 at the bridge over the Tonawanda just west of Brookville Road, Alexander.

They got off Route 20 and headed north.

When they hit the road closed sign on Route 98, they had to back up all the way to First Student's parking lot in order to turn around.

Hargrave said she called NYS DOT to suggest truckers be redirected, but the DOT never responded with its own sign.

Tim Yaeger, emergency coordinator for Genesee County, and Jim Bouton, also a coordinator with the Office of Emergency Management, set up a message board sign at Route 98 and Route 20 trying to warn truckers that the road was close ahead.

But even after the sign was up, truckers still headed north. Yaeger said he was going to try to get a "local traffic only" sign posted either at Pike Road or Rose Road to encourage truckers to turn left onto those roads. The detour would lead them to Route 5 so they could resume their eastward travels.

Emergency Management acquired the $1,500 sign 18 months ago with Homeland Security grant money to use for volunteer recruitment but this was the second time it's been pressed into service an emergency.

Flooding on the Tonawanda is expected to peak at 12 feet at 7 tonight.

Yaeger and Bouton setting up road closed sign.

Below are photos submitted by Walnut Street resident Krystle Robinson of activity on Walnut Street this afternoon. Cars going through the water may have been going through at times when barriers were not in place.

October 29, 2011 - 10:42pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street.

Walnut Street residents Jeremy and Cassie decided to rake up their fall leaves Saturday, and got some extra "help" from their sons Ethan, 7, and Matthew, 4, who found it was great fun to play in the big pile of leaves.

January 11, 2010 - 8:17am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street.

A City of Batavia sidewalk plow has rolled over on Walnut Street near Law.

December 8, 2009 - 9:06pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, fire, Walnut Street.

City fire crews are being dispatched to 60 Walnut St. to investigate a possible chimney fire.

The caller reports sparks coming from the chimney.

Engine 12 and Ladder 15 are responding. Mercy EMS is also responding.

UPDATE 9:24 p.m.: Engine 12 and Ladder 15 back in service.


View Larger Map

October 14, 2009 - 6:52pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Walnut Street.

fixmyyard_sign.jpg

The resident at 135 Walnut Street didn't want to discuss tonight the background behind this sign, but she's in a dispute with the city after Walnut was resurfaced, the front edge of her lawn was raised two or three feet. She wants a level yard again. The sign reads "Fix My Yard Right! Make it Flat Again."

UPDATE: I ran into Jason Molino at an event this morning.  He said this is a home owner issue. "It's restored to what it was before," Molino said. "We worked with her to improve the property and she doesn't seem happy with it."  Sally Kuzon was with Molino and they asked me how he street looked. I said, "It looks great."  Kuzon smiled and said, "Will you put that in, too."  So, Sally, there you go.

July 23, 2008 - 1:44pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in construction, roads, Walnut Street, roundabout.

Since more than a few folks have taken interest in the proposed roundabout for Walnut Street, we have put together some more information passed on by City Council President Charlie Mallow.

From a press release issued by the city:

The Walnut Street Project will involve the complete removal and reconstruction of the roadway, starting at the south City line and extending north to the Oak Street intersection. A modern roundabout will be installed at the Pearl/Franklin/South Main intersection. Additional infrastructure upgrades will include the replacement of curbing, the City of Batavia’s water main, sidewalks, driveway aprons, drainage structures, and street lighting. In addition, stabilization of the Tonawanda Creek stream bank, as well as a variety of landscaping improvements will be included in the project’s scope.

In preparing their construction schedule, CATCO has chosen to compress the roundabout and major street reconstruction work into the 2009 season.

Work that will be performed this year will include: utility relocation, drainage improvements, water main replacement, stream bank stabilization, railroad crossing replacement, building demolition.

City Manager Jason Molino says in the release that CATCO has split up the work over the two seasons to "minimize disruptions to the normal traffic flow ... and most importantly, lessen the project's impact on local residents."

The Batavian left a message for Molino to find out how postponing the major work until next year will "minimize disruptions" — wouldn't two years of work be more disruptive than finishing the project in a single season, for instance. We also plan to ask Molino how the project originated and was approved by City Council as there seems to have been some opposition to the roundabout, as noted in a survey conducted by the Batavia Area Jaycees in 2007. What was most shocking about the results of the survey was that many people did not even seem to know about the project.

The City plans to hold a public information meeting in February 2009 to review the construction schedule, work phasing, and proposed detours with local residents. The exact time and location of this meeting will be provided at a later date.  The City will also distribute project informational flyers to local residents on a quarterly basis.

If you have questions about the project, there are a few people you can contact:

  • Sally Kuzon, assistant city manager: (585) 345-6325
  • Larry Klotzbach, project engineer: (585) 259-0506
  • Dave Curtis, project superintendent: (716) 481-0571

UPDATE: City Council President Charlie Mallow notified The Batavian that, in fact, several public meetings were held about the construction of the roundabout, several stories about it appeard in the Daily News, and nobody contacted him or the council to voice their opposition to the project.

I have never received a negative phone call or any interaction that I can conclude as being negative towards going forward with a roundabout. In fact, its the opposite, people on Walnut want to know when they are getting their promised repairs. There was no opposition that I am aware of at all. People in the area are rightly concerned about timetables and how they are going to live and run their businesses in a construction site. All of that is being worked out and will be worked out before the work has started.

I must admit that I was a little surprised to hear that people disliked the idea of a roundabout. I am not a native of Batavia, and the first few times I drove down Oak Street to get through to Pearl Street, I was quite confused on how to maneuver the street connections there. What about you? Will you be glad to see a roundabout?

July 22, 2008 - 4:37pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in construction, roads, Walnut Street.

One of our readers got curious after reading a post on The Batavian from earlier today about the postponement of the Walnut Street reconstruction and addition of a roundabout. Many thanks for Russ Stresing for getting us the following images. The first is an artist's rendering of the roundabout, once it is completed. Below that is a satellite view of what the area looks like now — that image is borrowed from the Genesee County Web site.

Subscribe to

Calendar

S M T W T F S
 
 
 
 
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
7
 
8
 
9
 
10
 
11
 
12
 
13
 
14
 
15
 
16
 
17
 
18
 
19
 
20
 
21
 
22
 
23
 
24
 
25
 
26
 
27
 
28
 
29
 
30
 

Copyright © 2008-2018 The Batavian. Some Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
Original content available for non-commercial use under a Creative Commons license.
Contact: Howard Owens, publisher (howard (at) the batavian dot com); (585) 250-4118

blue button