Skip to main content


DOT roadwork start this week along routes in town and village of Bergen

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The New York State Department of Transportation today announced construction activities are underway along the Route 33 corridor in the Town of Bergen, Genesee County to resurface pavement in the area and enhance safety through the implementation of a new striping pattern.

Work will include the resurfacing of Route 33 between Route 237 and the Monroe County Line, a portion of Route 33a in the Town of Riga, Monroe County near the I-490 interchange, and Route 19 between Route 33 and Route 262 in the Village of Bergen.

As part of this construction, new left-turn lanes will be incorporated into the intersection of Route 19 and Route 33, with a two-way center turn lane just to the east. On Route 19, there will be one through lane in each direction to provide for new left-turn lanes.

Construction is expected to last approximately three weeks at this location, and two-way traffic will be maintained using single alternating lane closures. Motorists may encounter delays during this time and are advised to seek an alternate route.

All construction activities at this location are weather dependent and subject to change.

For real-time travel information, motorists should call 5-1-1 or visit or the mobile site at, New York State’s official traffic and travel information source.

DOT pavement marking underway in the city through Saturday on routes 5, 33, 63, and 98

By Billie Owens

From the city's Bureau of Maintenance:

Motorists are advised that New York State Department of Transportation will be reapplying centerline and edge striping this week on NY routes 5, 33, 63 and 98 in the City of Batavia. This will be evening work when traffic volumes are reduced.

If you have questions, contact the Bureau of Maintenance at (585) 345-6400, opt. 1.

Thank you for your cooperation in advance.

Schumer, Gillibrand announce $9.2 million in DOT funds for Upstate roads ruined in storms last fall

By Billie Owens

Press release:

U.S. Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer and U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand today announced that the U.S. Department of Transportation has granted Upstate New York counties devastated by the Halloween storm last year, $9,200,000 in federal funding through the Emergency Relief (ER) program.

The $9.2 million will go toward repairing roads and highways in Upstate New York, both of which were seriously damaged during the flooding, including those in the NY-27 Congressional District.

“This grant is good news for everyone in Upstate New York," Schumer said. "Last Halloween, our state, from one corner to the other, saw severe damaged after being ravaged by heavy rain, flooding, and tempestuous winds.

"This federal aid will finally begin the process of healing and recovery for these Upstate communities and ease the burden of natural disasters on New York taxpayers."

Senator Gillibrand said: “I’m grateful we could deliver federal aid to communities across Upstate New York that are still suffering from the extensive damage caused by the Halloween storms. This grant is an important first step in ensuring these communities get the resources they need to rebuild.”

During the Halloween storm, 12 counties received at least 3 inches of rain, which is nearly a month’s worth in most Upstate areas, and 27 counties received flood warnings and flash flood warnings.

Furthermore, winds blew between 60 and 70 miles per hour, knocking down countless trees, destroying private property and leaving hundreds of thousands of Upstate New Yorkers without power.

In the Mohawk Valley, hundreds of residents were evacuated and many properties remain uninhabitable. The storm even tragically took the life of a priest, Father Tom Connery, in Herkimer County, who was trapped in his vehicle during one of the flash floods.

In Western New York, floodwaters and wind caused millions in damage across the Lakes Erie and Ontario shorelines.

Schumer and Gillibrand have long advocated for federal recognition of the disaster and called repeatedly for funding to begin repairs. The DOT funding will go toward the 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 26, and 27 Congressional districts.

On school days in Elba, better watch your speed -- for a really long time

By Billie Owens

A reader sent us this photo of a new sign put up by the state Department of Transportation near Elba Central School on Route 98.

Did the DOT worker who installed the sign read it? Notice the 22-hour window of a.m. time.

Fines are higher on school days!

Speeding in a school zone is a violation of New York State Vehicle and Traffic Law 1180-(c). On days that school is in session, speeding in a school zone costs $90-$300 for going 1 to 10 mph over the limit; $180-$600 for going 11 to 30 mph over; and $360-$1,200 for going 31+ mph over.

When asked about complying with the law as currently posted, Elba Highway Superintendent Mark Youngfleisch retorted: "You mean I have to go 25 miles an hour at 3 a.m. when I'm plowing snow? I'm sure I'm not going to go 25 miles an hour at 3 a.m. when I'm plowing snow!"


Hawley: DOT scraps planned roundabout at Route 77 and Ledge Road in favor of blinking red and yellow lights

By Billie Owens

Press release:

Assemblyman Steve Hawley (R,C,I-Batavia) announced today that the state Department of Transportation (DOT) has reversed its decision to construct a roundabout at the dangerous intersection of State Route 77 and Ledge Road in the Town of Alabama in favor of a blinking yellow light on Route 77 and a blinking red light on Ledge Road.

The busy intersection is known to be very treacherous, having become a common site for traffic accidents, and is routinely used by tractor-trailers and farm vehicles as a gateway to the western portions of the state.

The Alabama Town Board recently passed a resolution opposing the construction of a roundabout for myriad reasons including cost, the need to build onto nearby private property, and the likelihood accidents would continue.

Hawley backed the town board’s opposition to the roundabout and twice requested that the DOT consider different alternatives to the proposed roundabout. 

“Although I am pleased that the state DOT deferred to the concerns of local citizens and the town board in this case, I hope and pray that all residents take the dangers surrounding this intersection seriously and heed all traffic signals and devices,” Hawley said.

“The proposed roundabout would have cost nearly $1.8 million in taxpayer money, whereas the new lights will cost less than $100,000 and be infinitely less intrusive to nearby residents’ properties and daily commuters. The citizens of Alabama know what works best for their community and I will happily stand behind their decision.”

DOT will auction off ramp off South Jackson that used to lead to bridge

By Howard B. Owens


A two-acre parcel of land that's distinguishing feature is an abandoned road that used to lead to a bridge will be sold at auction at the end of this month.

The road used to lead to a bridge that connected South Jackson Street to Creek Road but that bridge was removed in the 1990s and never replaced.

Now, the Department of Transporation, which has owned the parcel since the bridge was built in the 1950s, has decided to sell it as surplus property.

Matt Worth, director of public works said the bridge, which was only 30 years old at the time it was removed, was in poor shape when it was taken out of service.  

It was built when the old railway lines that used to pass through Downtown Batavia were moved further south. The bridge was built over the railroad tracks in what may have been a joint project involving the City, the DOT, and the railroad company that owned the railway at the time. 

As often happens in these sorts of projects, the various agencies wind up owning a piece of the project but only until the project is completed. For some reason, and Worth said he doesn't know why (this was well before his time with the City), the DOT never turned the street over to the City of Batavia for maintenance. 

The two-acre parcel is surrounded by City of Batavia property. It's zoned R-2, which means a two-family residence can be built on the land.

Here's a DOT press release about the auction:

The New York State Department of Transportation today announced it will host a public auction for two parcels of vacant land. The auction will be held on Thursday, May 30, 2019 at the State Office Building located at 1530 Jefferson Road in Henrietta. Registration will begin at 9:30 a.m. and the auction will begin at 10:30 a.m.

To register, bidders must present a certified or bank check for the deposit required on the property for which they intend to bid. The property, deposit and starting bid price are as follows:

Property 891 is 0.53± acres of vacant land located on the north side of Beahan Road near its intersection with Chili Avenue, in the Town of Gates, Monroe County. It is irregular in shape and improved with a snow plow turn-around. Access to the parcel is gained via Brooks Avenue Extension. Bidding will commence at $20,000. The deposit required to bid on this property will be $2,000.

Property 894 is 2± acres of vacant land located along the southern side of South Jackson Street, in the City of Batavia, Genesee County. The parcel is irregular in shape, contains broken pavement and overgrown brush. The parcel does not have physical access to South Jackson Street. Bidding will commence at $7,000. The deposit required to bid on this property will be $700.

Prospective bidders can find more information by visiting our website at or by contacting Jeremy Button at (585) 272-3326.

Below: DOT supplied image of the parcel


State DOT declines to address road conditions at site of double fatal accident in Elba

By Howard B. Owens

In response to a request for information on the lack of a snow fence and plow times on Route 98 the day of a double fatal accident in Elba, the state Department of Transportation issued a statement today that didn't address either issue.

A spokesman did not respond, after several hours, to The Batavian's request for information on those specific issues.

Here's the DOT's official statement about the crash Feb. 2 that took the lives of mother and son, Teresa M. Norton, 53, and Thomas M. Norton, 22, both of Albion:

This was a tragic incident. DOT’s primary focus is highway safety, which includes snow and ice preparation and response. We maintain thousands of miles on highways statewide and follow snow and ice guidelines to address severe winter weather in Upstate New York. DOT’s maintenance crews were working diligently throughout that weekend in Genesee County, engaged in snow and ice operations on state highways.

The accident occurred within days of significant snowfall when the wind was blowing at about 30 mph through the county. There were significant snow drives across patches of Route 98 that afternoon, including one where Teresa Norton's 2008 Suzuki slide sideways through heavy snow and was hit broadside by a pickup truck.  

Both mother and son were pronounced dead at the scene.

NYS DOT to hold public meeting Nov. 14 on proposed roundabout in Alabama

By Billie Owens

Public Notice

The NYS Dept. of Transportation will have a public information meeting at 6 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 14, at the Alabama Fire Department Recreation Hall, 2230 Judge Road, Alabama.

This meeting is open to the public and will provide information regarding the proposed roundabout at the Ledge/Alleghany Road intersection.

Photos: 30 DOT plow trucks staging in Stafford

By Howard B. Owens

A convoy of 30 DOT plow trucks pulled into Genesee County today, coming down Route 19 to Route 5 in Le Roy and then stopping at the DOT facility on West Main Street Road, Stafford.

The stop is a staging area before heading further west into Erie County.

While the roads have been cleared in Darien, there's still a lot of work to be done in Erie County, and more snow is expected tonight.

UPDATE: A total of 199 trucks are staging in Stafford, coming from all over the state, mostly locations to the east. Drivers are being housed in local hotels while awaiting assignments, primarily in Erie County.

I spent all morning in Darien and will have pictures to post later, but there's something else I need to go cover now.

DOT puts weight restrictions on Route 20 bridge in Alexander

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) today announced that the Route 20 (Broadway Road) bridge over Tonawanda Creek in the town of Alexander, Genesee County, is being restricted, effective today, to vehicles weighing 6 tons or less and the shoulders are closed.

This posting is being put in place following a recent inspection and engineering analysis that revealed the bridge can no longer safely carry heavier traffic in its current condition.

NYSDOT monitors bridge safety through a thorough and rigorous inspection program. All bridges inspected are analyzed for their capacity to carry vehicular loads.

This bridge is located just east of the cloverleaf intersection with Route 98.  Electronic message boards and several other signs are being placed at key locations.

State forces will be making repairs to this structure through the weekend. The goal is to restore service on Monday, September 29.

A capital project to replace is structures is being progressed and is slated to be under construction next year in 2015.

Le Roy residents weigh in on DOT plan to put Route 5 on a diet

By Bonnie Marrocco

Le Roy residents, business owners, community leaders and public safety officials packed into the Le Roy Town Hall Monday night to express their opposition to potentially reducing the number of lanes through the village. A proposed plan would make Main Street two lanes instead of four.

The public meeting was hosted by Le Roy Business Council and was attended by NYS Department of Transportation officials.

DOT Regional Traffic Engineer David Goehring said that Le Roy was targeted as an area that needs minor, preventative resurfacing. As part of the project, they looked at the roads and discussed with village leaders ways to make the village more pedestrian and parking friendly, concerns about speeding, as well as traffic issues at the corner of routes 5 and 19, Lake Street.

Using DOT jargon such as “calming traffic” (slowing down traffic) and “road dieting” (reducing the size of current roads) he cited research that shows how four-lane roads encourage speeding and quick lane changes, as well as being a tight squeeze for trucks and people parked on the street. 

“We looked at traffic volume and saw an opportunity for 'road dieting' when preventive maintenance to pavement on Route 5 is performed in July -- dieting the current four lanes in order to trim them down to two lanes,” Goehring said. “The volume of traffic that comes through Le Roy would allow a single lane of traffic in each direction to accommodate it.”

The plan reduces the four-lane traffic that runs from the railroad overpass eastward to Le Roy Country Club into wider, single lanes of traffic in both directions and a middle turning lane, along with modifications to increase the turning radius at the intersection of routes 5 and 19.

The proposed route would have a 14- to 16-foot-wide center lane throughout the village, with 10-foot-wide parking spaces on both sides of the street in the business district. Parked traffic would have an additional eight feet of space between them and vehicle traffic due to the installation of “bike lanes” in both directions.

“This tends to reduce speed and reduce rear-end accidents because left-hand turn traffic is not in a live lane. People exiting driveways only have to gauge one lane both ways and can turn into the center lane, which gives you a refuge spot to get in and out of your driveway,” DOT Civil Engineer Brad Walike said.

Le Roy Mayor Greg Rogers and Town Supervisor Stephen Barbeau both said their constituents would prefer downtown parking be the focus of the changes, not the roadways.

“In an ideal situation, we’d like to see reverse diagonal parking and keep the existing highways the same,” Rogers said. “I don’t know if we have the right to request this, but that’s our feeling.”

Reverse diagonal parking allows traffic to back into slots instead of pulling in.

Emergency responders warned that they need the extra space to maneuver through downtown.

“When we respond on Route 5 going east, traffic has a place to get out of the way. There would hardly be enough room for our trucks to get down Main Street under the proposed new plan,”  Le Roy Fire District Chief Tom Wood said. “We think you need to take a closer look at the west side, near the underpass.”

Le Roy resident John Duysson, a deputy whose job with the Sheriff's Office includes accident reconstruction, said he understood the plan, but disagreed with some of it. Besides improving traffic at the intersection of routes 5 and 19, he said he believes it will only increase traffic congestion.

“You’re dead on about routes 5 and 19, but on the rest, you’re nuts,” Duysson said. “I disagree with the proposal all the way through.”

Le Roy Historical Society Director Lynne Belluscio said the traffic pattern along Route 5 in Batavia keeps her from going downtown and she’s afraid people will feel the same way about coming into the village.

“I’m concerned people will feel it’s easier just to go around Le Roy,” Belluscio said.

Goehring said the projects in Batavia and East Bethany weren’t the best comparisons to the proposed Le Roy plan, which he equated more to the traffic plan implemented in Avon along Route 5.

NYSDOT officials will consider the community input and meet with local officials with a revised plan early next year.

DOT apparently means to rain on your community's parade

By Howard B. Owens

Nearly every city, village, town and even most hamlets in Upstate New York hold at least one parade a year.

It might be for Memorial Day or some local observance or festival, but parades in the state's rural counties are as common as apples and corn.

New Department of Transportation rules could doom one of the state's last vestiges of public Americana.

Legislator Shelly Stein informed the Public Service Committee today of a proposed new law that would require parade organizers to file a five-page application, pay hefty deposits and jump through dozens of bureaucratic hoops to get permission for a parade on a state highway.

For example, the Oakta Festival Parade, which Stein chairs, takes place on Route 5 every year. The City's parades for Memorial Day and St. Joe's Penny Carnival are also on Route 5. Oakfield's Labor Day Parade is on Route 63. Byron's parade is on Route 262. In Bergen, the parade crosses Route 19.

"This has always been a municipality's prerogative," noted Legislator Marianne Clattenburg, a former City of Batavia council member. "Every time a parade or festival took place, it always got approval through the city and the council voted. So why is this now being taken out of local control?"

Stein and other legislators suspect it's about money. The new law requires a deposit sufficient to cover any potential damage to state property, which the state will fix and deduct from the deposit.

It could just be bureaucracy.

The list of new requirements include:

  • Demonstrate that a licensed traffic engineer has reviewed the operation and safety plan;
  • Identify every location and every way where participants will violate normal traffic laws;
  • Show how the event will affect normal traffic and how measures taken to minimize conflicts;
  • Identify all temporary traffic control devices that will be placed in the highway;
  • Demonstrate that there is a plan for addressing injured participants;
  • Demonstrate that the owners of facilities used by the event have been contacted and agree with the use;
  • Prepare an event map that shows start and finish lines, show direction of event, show all intersections, show railroad crossings, show jurisdictional boundaries and show facilities being used (roads, parks, schools, parking lots, etc.);
  • Write a detailed description of the event;
  • List all existing traffic control signs;
  • Prepare sketches of all locations that require additional traffic control devices;
  • Show on a map all locations of traffic control personnel;
  • Provide a map of detours with a drawing of proposed detour signs;
  • Detail pre-event public notifications;
  • Describe pre-event coordination with local police or state police and other agencies;
  • and, describe event-day communications systems.

The changes also apply to 5K races, bike races and other public events that use state highways.

The proposed changes are not law yet. Currently, the DOT is accepting public comment on the proposed new rules. The DOT can be contacted at NYSDOT Main Office, 50 Wolf Road, Albany, NY 12232.

Stein shared a comment about the proposed changes by Sen. Mike Ranzenhofer. She said, Ranzenhofer told her, "I really don't see this going too far because we all walk in parades."

But, Stein said, without public feedback, the new law could go into effect, making it much harder for local communities to host their traditional parades and other public events.

State begins construction project on Ellicott Street

By Howard B. Owens

Contractors working for the state Department of Transportation began working on Ellicott Street, Batavia, this morning.

A 1.7-mile stretch will be milled and resurfaced. By the end of the project, the four-lane roadway will be reduced to three lanes and bike lanes will be added.

Repaving project announced for Route 262 in Elba and Byron

By Howard B. Owens

The DOT today announced a $585,737 project to pave a portion of Route 262 in Elba and Bryon.

The contract is expected to be awarded to Hanson Aggregates New York of Jamesville.

The section will stretch from Route 98 to Route 237.

The announcement was contained in a press release that announced several projects across WNY. All of the projects will take about two weeks each, with most of the work being done before the end of the summer, but all projects completed before 2010.

Also from the press release:

The economic-recovery funds coming to New York State for transportation projects must follow the same process required for distributing all federal transportation funds. The funds are allocated to projects that are selected by the 13 regional Metropolitan Planning Organizations (MPOs) across the state, which are comprised of local elected officials, local transit operators and NYSDOT representatives. MPOs vote unanimously on projects for their Transportation Improvement Program, and the projects are candidates for economic-recovery funds.  These paving projects were approved by the Genesee Transportation Council to be eligible to receive ARRA funding.

Authentically Local