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October 30, 2014 - 12:00pm

Photos: New escalators being installed at Batavia Downs

posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Batavia Downs, business.

Batavia Downs is in the home stretch of a $20 million expansion that includes a new gaming floor, a new sign, new offices, and in the final phase, a new facade and entry on Park Road.

Today, a pair of 7,500-pound escalators are being installed and soon a statue of Fortuna, the goddess of good luck, will arrive from Wisconsin.

With the last major pieces in place, it's just a matter of putting on the finishing touches.

The new gaming floor, now on the first floor, opened last October. The old gaming floor on the second level is now offices for Batavia Downs and Western OTB staff.

The escalator to the second floor will provide access to the clubhouse and grandstands as well as a new OTB inter-track wagering facility, which will move from its current location across the street on Park Road.

The entry way will feature lighted neon and Fortuna will stand through a hole in the ceiling so she can be viewed from ground level or from up above.

"It's just going to look incredible," said Ryan Hasenauer, marketing director for Batavia Downs.

Scott Ogle
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"statue of Fortuna, the goddess of good luck, will arrive from Wisconsin."

Oh, gotta love that .

tom hunt
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That statue of Fortuna will be out of place when the restaurant has to change its name because of a naming conflict with Fortuna of Niagara Falls. BTW I will miss those old Otis escalators. I remember riding them as a kid many years ago.

Jim Urtel Jr
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Still not a quarter being spent on the barn area though, huh??No reason to spend any money on the horses who are the only reason you got the slots in the first place!!!!!

Fred GUNDELL
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Wow Jim, I thought I was the traditionalist. How about the employees working for very low wages. It is hard to hear that the free play you just got is more than they will make in a shift of work. Makes you think, how nice will a statue of Fortuna from Wisconsin really be. How nice will a new door be. But you must admit the horsemen are actually benefitting from much higher purses, created by the slots. Needed repairs to the barn area should be a work in progress. Just like it was with "Barbara".lol

RICHARD L. HALE
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Can't wait to see the new entry. As long as they have been working on it, it's got to be spectacular. Maybe they should have a statue of " Elsie" the cow in there, they've been "milking" the job for so long !!!

alvin tufts
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Hopefully they will build a pedestrian bridge or install crossing signals so pedestrians are clumped together. As soon as grandma finally leaves the crosswalk new grandma perfectly times it to enter the crosswalk. Sometimes I get caught in this perfectly choreographed nightmare that continues for twenty minutes. Oh look now I can go, oh wait not yet.

Ed Hartgrove
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New to the area, Alvin? Or, maybe just a tad forgetful that there's a crosswalk there (which tends to draw pedestrians). The city of Batavia is a might bigger than the villages of Oakfield or Le Roy, but not so huge that it takes a half-hour to go by alternate route. But, hey, maybe that's the 'retired me' speaking. The only reason to be in such a hurry now is when I 'gotta go'.

Tom Monnier
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I absolutely agree with Alvin. It would have been great for them to spend some of that money putting in an underground tunnel to go from the parking lot to the building. Crosswalks, or not, some people unfortunately don't pay attention and just keep on driving or walking. I've seen it a few times where a pedestrian will wave a car to go but, then another pedestrian, looking at their cell phone or what not, and assuming that they don't need to look while crossing the street because of the crosswalk, damn near gets ran over. A little more thought towards the safety of the customers would probably be a good idea. Just my two cents.

Kyle Couchman
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You know I have seen the arguments about the casino's crosswalk over and over but the facts are simple....

1. Pedestrians have the right of way in this state if they are in the crosswalk or approaching it drivers have to yield.

2. The crosswalk has been there long enough for most of us to be aware of it. If you dont like waiting at that crosswalk then use alternate routes. If you want to go north then go towards Alex's place and use that street to go east or go further to veteran's drive to go to western locations. To go south, then go to lewiston rd and use veterans drive or redfield pkwy.

Maybe the track and casino should put a wall across the road, effectively dead ending the road at each parkinglot entrance. It sure would make people's choices less frustrating since they cant seem to critical think and figure out how to avoid the delay they complain about.

Just my 2 cents

alvin tufts
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A crossing signal mitigates rude pedestrian's sense of self entitlement and allows traffic to use a public road more efficiently. Please don't teach children about your "right of way" the 3000 lb. vehicle driven by a distracted driver doesn't care about your right. Common sense and mutual politeness with the person behind the wheel is a better lesson.

Kyle Couchman
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Alvin guess what..it's not a pedestrians sense of entitlement, it's the LAW. It's actually the drivers sense of entitlement that he doesn't have to stop or has to be afforded politeness.

N.Y. VAT. LAW § 1151 : NY Code - Section 1151: Pedestrians' right of way in crosswalks

(a) When traffic-control signals are not in place or not in operation the driver of a vehicle shall yield the right of way, slowing down or stopping if need be to so yield, to a pedestrian crossing the roadway within a crosswalk on the roadway upon which the vehicle is traveling, except that any pedestrian crossing a roadway at a point where a pedestrian tunnel or overpass has been provided shall yield the right of way to all vehicles. (b) No pedestrian shall suddenly leave a curb or other place of safety and walk or run into the path of a vehicle which is so close that it is impractical for the driver to yield. (c) Whenever any vehicle is stopped at a marked crosswalk or at any unmarked crosswalk at an intersection to permit a pedestrian to cross the roadway, the driver of any other vehicle approaching from the rear shall not overtake and pass such stopped vehicle.

- See more at: http://codes.lp.findlaw.com/nycode/VAT/VII/27/1151#sthash.KCiHXj57.dpuf

alvin tufts
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I never said it wasn't the law. I'm pressing for a mutually beneficial situation. Bridge, tunnel, signal, or if you prefer we could do a version of the S-curve and call it the U-curve. It would divert the road all the way around the parking lot and back up along the back of K-Mart. That may be the way to go since you are appear to be against the first three logical choices. Repeatedly stating that its the law is pointless. It may be hard to believe but I mutate into a pedestrian every time I step out of my vehicle. I understand the pedestrian viewpoint as well. Can you explain where in the law it states that crossing signals violate a pedestrians legal rights?

Kyle Couchman
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I didn't say it did Alvin but... your comment...

"A crossing signal mitigates rude pedestrian's sense of self entitlement"

Indicates that pedestrians feel entitled using that crosswalk like they do when in fact it's their legal right under the law.

With everyone complaining about our local govt spending money, why should they waste time altering the road or putting in equipment? If people just follow the laws, no problem. If they don't then they pay the fines for their distracted driving, rudeness or just plain lack of common sense.

alvin tufts
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I try to be aware of my surroundings. So if I approach a crosswalk like this and I know that another pedestrian is approaching from further away I wave the cars through and wait 30 seconds. That way I'm not holding them up for not only me but the next person as well. People have latched on to "right of way" thinking and ignore common courtesy. They don't care that the same vehicles that they saw waiting at the crosswalk since they were in the middle of the parking lot are still there. They don't even think twice about stepping in front of them and making them wait. Every pedestrian thinks "**** them, I have the right of way" and so it continues. That is what I'm referring to when I say "rude pedestrian's sense of self entitlement"

Kyle Couchman
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Again they THINK they have the right of way because they in fact DO have the right of way. Something you need to learn in life is that it's your choice to be courteous, it's not a requirement. The fact that you are courteous speaks to your character. But as far as facts go, they do have the right of way.

Like I said build two walls and make that street dead end on both sides of the crosswalk. End of issue.

alvin tufts
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Turning the wall the other way ends the issue also. A signal doesn't require any courtesy and will be unbiased about whose turn it is. What do the town fire trucks do to get to the other side of your wall?

Kyle Couchman
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Turning the wall the other way? Now you are just not making sense. As for firetruck, do you really think they don't already avoid that road and use other routes? The wall doesn't interfere at all.

The signal costs money and require maintenence....more money out of taxpayers pockets. The law already doesnt require courtesy and is unbiased.

Kyle Couchman
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double post

Howard B. Owens
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In the six years I've been covering news in this town, there's been one pedestrian struck by a vehicle at that crossing.

It makes no sense to go to the expense of any other type of crossing.

Further, I try to always be prepared to stop when I approach the crosswalk there. I don't see why that's a big deal. If a pedestrian waves me through, I wave them through. They're the ones not surrounded by metal. It would be rude of me to take any other approach than letting pedestrians cross, no matter how long I have to wait.

alvin tufts
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Its not an issue of one pedestrian, nor whose more protected. It has everything to do with the poor timing of the arrival of pedestrians. When multiple people arrive at any intersection the first person to allow others to go should be the only one. Although good intentioned, others that say or motion "no no after you" are causing unnecessary confusion. Taking someone up on their offer to let you go first is not rude regardless of whether you are walking, riding a bike , in a car, floating in soap bubble or driving a train. They offered. Only one in six years not bad. How much money was spent on that Halloween DWI detail? How many people did they save? How much does a signal cost to install and maintain? At what number of "pedestrian crashes" do we actually begin to consider a signal?

Scott Ogle
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On a separate but somewhat related issue, a pet peeve: drivers who instead of maintaining their right of way, try to direct traffic instead. Specifically, at a four-way stop where I'm signaling a left turn , and opposite me an individual indicating no turn, 'courteously' refuses to move, while beckoning me to make my turn. Boils my blood !

alvin tufts
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Scott I was also referring to that exact scenario.

Scott Ogle
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Alvin , I didn't see your note before I posted. But I'm not sure we're in agreement.

alvin tufts
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I was only referring to the part about people gumming up the works by trying to be polite.

Scott Ogle
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I got it now, Alvin. Polite people suck!

alvin tufts
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No, some under certain circumstances.

alvin tufts
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Its makes as much sense as your wall. Straight out their bay doors and down Park Road to respond to a call at Alex's or the hotels. Do you think they routinely avoid the shortest path? Take a scenic detour .

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