Scenes similar to this clean up yesterday at the site of a head-on collision on Clinton Street Road in the city have been common over the past few days. Below zero temperatures have kept the road salt from doing its work and frequent snowfalls have kept the plows more than busy.
In response, the city of Batavia police have issued a statement urging motorists to drive cautiously and maybe drive a little more slowly than they normally would.
In the past 24 hours the Batavia Police Department has investigated about 15 motor vehicle accidents. Only a few resulted in minor injuries. With the extreme cold weather conditions and the snow we have received, the city streets remain slippery and icy especially at intersections. Even after being treated, the intersections and streets become icy quickly with the near zero temperatures we are experiencing.
We are asking all drivers in the city to use extreme caution and to slow down, especially when approaching intersections.
We're looking at a severe winter weather advisory for the region from 9 o'clock this morning through 6:00pm this afternoon, issued by the National Weather Service out of Buffalo. Don't expect things to get more friendly after that. We're already hearing talk of record low temperatures possibly down to minus ten degrees by Thursday. For now, here's what to expect:
A strong cold front will cross western New York early this afternoon and bring 1 to 3 inches of snow to the area. Strong southerly winds ahead of the front will shift to west with the frontal passage and gust up to 35 mph. This will result in considerable blowing and drfiting snow. Expect very hazardous conditions for travel for a few hours during the afternoon.
Please be careful driving out there. Wind, plus snow, plus cold usually make for the worst driving conditions. I can speak from experience that Route 33 between Batavia and Bergen is often treacherous when the gusts start kicking the snow across the road.
Everything looks clear right now on the Thruway.
Commuters heading west from Batavia may soon have to contend with yet another highway distraction. An article in the Buffalo News from last week informs us that electronic, television-style billboards will soon be gracing roadsides in Buffalo, Niagara Falls, Hamburg and Tonawanda. They will replace the antiquated poster-style billboards in those areas with electronic ones that "beam a new picture every eight seconds." But there's more to these flashy billboards than just invasive marketing opportunities.
The new technology has drawn concern in some communities, while winning applause in others for beaming emergency information to drivers.
Digital signs can quickly replace ads with messages about traffic problems ahead. They can also relay AMBER Alerts about missing children, (Lamar general manager Rich) Dvorak said.
In Minneapolis, a digital billboard alerted drivers about a bridge collapse in 2007 and helped reroute traffic.
“We can react within minutes to get that [emergency] message up,” Dvorak said.
But concerns about distracted driving and neighborhood livability have also surfaced as the electronic signs proliferate, with 1,100 now in use nationwide.
What do you think? Will electronic billboards be worth the distraction?
WBTA's Dan Fischer has a caution for morning commuters: Be careful on highway overpasses. Several minor accidents were reported earlier this morning due to ice slicks on overpasses in Genesee County that have not yet been salted. Nasty spots include the Route 19 Thruway bridge in Le Roy and the Route 63 Thruway bridge in the town of Batavia. A few power outages were also reported this morning as a result of the icy conditions. Parts of Bethany and Alexander were off the grid for a little while, but power has since been restored.
In other news, the Batavia City Council will meet tonight at 7:00pm at City Hall.