Local Matters

Community Sponsors

Route 20

September 26, 2014 - 7:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, dot, Route 20.

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.

September 9, 2013 - 1:29pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, Route 20, Suicide Corners.

Press Release:

New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) officials will host a public hearing Thursday to detail proposed safety improvements at the intersection of Route 20 and East Road in the town of Bethany, Genesee County. NYSDOT will present the preferred alternative for the project, which includes construction of a modern roundabout and lowering the hill.

The public hearing will convene at 6:30 p.m. at the Bethany Community Center, located at 10510 Bethany Center Road. A short project overview including engineering, traffic and environmental, and right-of-way aspects of the project will be presented. Verbal comments will be recorded and written comments will be received.  Comments received by September 23 will be made part of the official project record and evaluated prior to finalizing the design alternative.

Highlights of the project design proposed under this alternative include lowering the profile of the hill on Route 20 just west of the intersection as well as building a modern roundabout to replace the existing dual stop signs and flashing red light. A roundabout will require vehicles approaching the intersection from both roads to decrease travel speeds. More information about the safety benefits of roundabouts can be found online at www.dot.ny.gov/20eastroad.

Accident statistics since 1998 show 36 total collisions including three fatal crashes. The accident pattern shows right angle and sight-distance related collisions, mainly from vehicles entering the intersection from East Road and often times failing to yield. The purpose of the project is to reduce the frequency and severity of crashes at this intersection.

The Draft Design Report is now available for public review. It is a comprehensive document that presents details of the preferred design alternative along with all the required supporting engineering evaluations and environmental studies.  A copy is available for viewing at the Bethany Town Hall or at the DOT Regional Office, located at 1530 Jefferson Road in Henrietta.  Portions of the report are also available on the project Web site at www.dot.ny.gov/20Eastroad  .

Construction for this $2.5 million project is scheduled for the summer of 2015.  Under this proposal, traffic would be maintained on Route 20 with construction of a temporary by-pass road. East Road traffic would be detoured.

The location for the meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. If anyone requires special accommodations to participate in this meeting, please contact Eric Thompson at 585-272-349.

October 19, 2011 - 6:39pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in roundabout, Bethany, transportation, Route 20, Suicide Corners.

Suicide Corners has a reputation, and as the name implies, it's not a good one.

While accidents may not be frequent where East Road crosses Route 20, when they have occurred -- at least until a few years ago -- they've been deadly.

There were fatal accidents at the intersection in June 1998, April 1999 and June 2004. One was a triple fatal and another a double fatal.

After the 2004 accidents, Bethany residents gathered 2,633 signatures asking the NYS Department of Transportation to do something about the intersection.

Their thought -- regrade Route 20.

The state's response: No physical changes to the roadway were necessary. The DOT put up bigger and brighter signs.

There hasn't been a fatal accident at the intersection since, only fender-benders, according to Tom Douglas. He said accidents have been reduced by 36 percent.

Douglas, who with his wife, Debbie, raised six kids in a 200-year-old house (formerly an inn with a second-story dance floor) on property abutting Suicide Corners.  He and his son personally witnessed the 2004 accident, which claimed the life of an infant and two other people (inset photo from the memorial on a pole across East Road from the Douglas residence).

Now, seven years after the last fatal accident, DOT officials have apparently decided it's time to take more drastic measures to make the intersection safer.

The proposal: A $1.8 million traffic circle, a roundabout like the one on Oak Street in the City of Batavia.

If the project is approved, Tom and Debbie Douglas will lose their home. The state will seize their property through eminent domain (providing fair market value and relocation expenses).

About a quarter of the traffic circle will be on their current property, with the roadway through the area moving moved southward several dozens of feet.

Tom Douglas said not only will his family lose their home, a home with some local history, he doesn't believe the project serves any useful purpose.

"Statistically," he said, "It's not needed."

Lori Maher, public information officer for the DOT in the Genesee Region, said what the DOT is looking at is the entire history of the intersection, not just the past few years.

"That (no fatalities since 2004) doesn't mean that the problem is corrected and we should walk away from it, so we are pursuing a safety improvement program," Maher said.

But she said that doesn't mean the state will necessarily build a roundabout and that the Douglases will lose their home.

The proper corrective action is still under review and state engineers may yet determine that a roundabout is not the best solution (weighing, in fact, the serious decision of proceeding with eminent domain on the Douglas property).

The project, however, has been funded for construction to begin in the summer of 2013.

There will be public meetings and ample time for the public to provide feedback on the project, Maher said, but because fact-finding is not yet completed, no dates for those hearings have been set.

Douglas, town building inspector (Debbie is town clerk) and Bethany Town Supervisor Louis Gayton also question the wisdom of spending money on a roundabout when the Bethany Town Center Road bridge over Route 20 is in such drastic need of replacement or repair. Chunks of it regularly fall off onto Route 20.

"One of these days, somebody is going to get injured," Douglas said.

The main issue, Douglas said, isn't the traffic on Route 20. It's drivers on East Road, mostly northbound drivers, blowing through the intersection.

Douglas and others have suggested rumble strips on East Road, but both the state and the county highway department have rejected the idea as impractical.

"They think people will just drive around them," Douglas said. "But if they're driving around them, they're slowing down. It would still alert them to the intersection."

Gayton wonders if the roundabout will even improve safety.

"Trucks come through there at 60 to 65 mph," Gayton said. "Now they've got to slow down to 15 mph. I don't need to tell you what will happen."

Tim Hens, the county's highway superintendent, in an email sent Monday to county legislators obtained by Douglas, also questioned the DOT's decision.

This is not set in stone yet as it has to muster a public review process and final board adoption, but if adopted, we stand to lose funding for three bridge projects in the immediate TIP period covering 2011-14. This may only be the tip of the iceberg if new transportation reauthorization is not clear by the end of the year.

I did find it odd that they decided to keep the NEW Rt 20/East Rd (Suicide Corners) roundabout in the plan versus EXISTING bridges that are deteriorating. I know there has been loss of life at this corner, but not sure the roundabout is a popular solution with many local people.

Maher said, however, that the funding sources for bridges are different than the funding sources for intersection improvements. If an improvement -- roundabout or not -- for Suicide Corners isn't approved, then the $1.8 million slated for the project will just go to another intersection in the Genesee Region in need of improvement.

Sheriff Gary Maha, who attended a May 24 meeting with the DOT where the plan was first presented said he will leave the decision about how to improve safety to the experts, but he does know the state is increasingly using roundabouts throughout the state to improve safety on major roadways. He just visited two in Saratoga Springs.

"There's been a lot of serious accidents there over the years," Maha said. "I support anything that could improve safety in the area, certainly."

September 9, 2011 - 6:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, 9/11, Route 20, bethany center.

Somebody has posted a sign on Route 20, Bethany Center, encouraging people to plant flags along the road as a 9/11 memorial. So far, at least 30 flags have been left.

August 26, 2011 - 7:05pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in alexander, Route 20.

Press release:

The Route 20 bridge over Tonawanda Creek in the Town of Alexander will close on Monday, Aug. 29, to undergo steel repair work for approximately three weeks. 

The structure is located between Route 98 and Brookville Road. A detour is posted directing motorists to take Route 98 south to Stroh Road to Sandpit Road back to Route 20. All local traffic will be permitted up to the work site on both sides.

Work includes general repairs to the floor-beam connections and other steel components of the structure.

For real-time travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org <http://www.511NY.org>.

July 12, 2011 - 5:53pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Pavilion, Route 20.

As of yesterday, the bridge on Route 20 over Oatka Creek, Pavilion, has been closed for repairs. 

The closure is apparently part of a $2.8 million NYS DOT project to repair several bridges in Western New York.

We called the DOT today to try and get more information, but have not received a call back.

No word on when it will reopen (though, yesterday at 6 p.m., traffic was still going over the bridge, even though there were "road closed" signs at Texaco Town.

January 2, 2010 - 6:46pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in fire, Darien, Route 20.

A Chevy Avalanche is on fire, fully involved, at 883 Route 20, Darien.

Darien Fire is responding. The firs responder reports that the driver says the truck has a full tank of gas.

"There's not much we can do with it now," the responder said.


View Larger Map
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 © 2008-2019 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
 

blue button