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Route 98

June 21, 2022 - 10:14pm


Sometimes you can have too much of a good thing.

Byron resident Terry Speed learned that about his impromptu turnaround at a home on Oak Street, Batavia. He and his wife Dawn purchased the one-family building in 2016, complete with a small turnaround in the front yard. The soil settled and it became a small pond, he said.

Speed then dug a channel through the sunken area so that water could escape. He has applied for a variance to add 12 feet of loose stone to his existing 23-foot-wide driveway. That would make a 48 percent lot frontage at the Oak Street property. According to city code, “the width of driveways and parking spaces may not exceed 25 percent of lot frontage,” prompting the need for a variance.

“We needed to come and speak with you people.  I was told to apply for a variance,” Speed said during Tuesday’s City Planning & Development Committee meeting. “I would like to have a proper turnaround. I jumped the gun, it’s my fault.”

He has a business variance for his wife’s beauty salon to operate in the back of the home, he said. Customers usually arrive one at a time, but there are occasions when there are three vehicles (including his wife’s) in the driveway at one time. Given the amount of traffic on Oak Street, which is state Route 98, it’s difficult for customers to back out of the drive, he said. He added that he also thought it was illegal to back out onto a state roadway.

“People in and out of there are having a hard time,” Speed said. “Something’s going to happen. She’s hearing horns blow.”

In his application, Speed said that this issue is “due to bumper-to-bumper traffic on Oak Street weekdays,” and is therefore not a self-created problem.

As for the legal aspects of backing out onto Route 98, according to New York State’s vehicle and traffic law, there are limitations on backing up a vehicle. Section 1211 states that “the driver of a vehicle shall not back the same unless such movement can be made with safety and without interfering with other traffic. The driver of a vehicle shall not back the same upon any shoulder or roadway of any controlled-access highway.”

Still, allowing for the turnaround proposed by Speed “seems like an excessive amount, and sets a precedent for neighbors,” committee member Ed Flynn said.

He and fellow members discussed the options and issues with such a set-up, and eventually recommended a compromise: a 10-foot by 18-foot turnaround that is at least 18 feet from the road and 10 feet from the sidewalk.

Speed will continue the process with the Zoning Board of Appeals later this week.

For anyone who lives on Oak Street or other similar streets that coincide with busy state highways, how do you get out of your driveways? The Batavian would like to know your solutions for a follow-up article. Email them to: [email protected]

Illustration: Satellite view of Oak Street property requiring a variance for a larger turnaround area. Heavy traffic on Oak Street (Route 98), Batavia, prompted the variance request to create more space for visitors to turn around versus backing out onto the street. Illustration provided by City of Batavia Planning & Development Committee.

May 31, 2019 - 1:14pm


June 3 through June 28 -- due to road work:

NYS Route 98 (Walnut Street) in the City of Batavia between 65 Walnut St. and 25 Walnut St. will be reduced to alternating one-way traffic, controlled by temporary traffic signals Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. to allow for the construction of the Ellicott Trail Project.

For further information contact:

Tom Lichtenthal
Town of Batavia
Asst. Town Engineer

3833 W. Main Street Road, Batavia

Phone: 585-343-1729, ext. 218

February 12, 2019 - 5:55pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in department of transportation, dot, Route 98, accident, news, notify.

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.

March 30, 2017 - 11:38am
posted by Howard B. Owens in traffic, Route 98, batavia, news.

There's a disabled truck on Route 98, just south of the city line, that is blocking traffic.

Law enforcement dispatched.

June 29, 2014 - 5:33pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, Route 98.

A motor-vehicle accident with unknown injuries is reported 7578 Oak Orchard Road, Elba.

Elba fire and Mercy EMS dispatched.

UPDATE 6:52 p.m.: We didn't hear any more updates on this accident.

July 2, 2013 - 8:29am
posted by Howard B. Owens in elba, Route 98.

Route 98 in the area of Maltby Road, Elba, is closed because of a a water main break. It was closed at 7:55 a.m. and expected to remain closed until noon.

May 11, 2011 - 7:33pm

Members of the Genesee County Harley Owners Group were out on Route 98 recently picking up trash as part of an ongoing effort to help keep local roadways clean.

The Harley club does clean-ups four times per year.  

The group is responsible for Route 98 from the Thruway to Elba.

Pictured are Paul Ballard, Bob Aiken and Fred Devore.

Photo submitted by Frank Capuano.

October 12, 2010 - 9:49pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, Route 98, Daws Corner, Batavia-Elba Townline Road.


Three people were injured in a four-car accident at Daws Corners -- Route 98 and Batavia-Elba Townline Road -- this afternoon.

A westbound car reportedly pulled out from Batavia-Elba Townline Road and was struck by a car traveling southbound on Route 98. Each of those cars then hit two others at the intersection.

Joseph N. Mattison, 20, of Merriman Road, Byron, was cited for alleged failure to yield. Mattison, who was driving a 1994 Chevy sedan, was among the three people injured and transported to UMMC by ambulance.

Also injured were Bob K. Rathman, 39, of Heritage Estates, Albion, and Chrystal Bush, 17, who was a passenger in a car driven by Suanne Quackenbush, 49, of Gillett Road, Byron.

Quackenbush was not injured.

The fourth vehicle was driven by Benny S. Giambrone, 84, of Farnsworth Road, Oakfield.

The accident was investigated by Sgt. Thomas Sanfratello.

(Initial Report)


January 28, 2010 - 3:45pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Alexander, Route 98.

A driver who spun out after hitting a patch of snow on Route 98 in Alexander yesterday was transported to UMMC complaining of neck pain.

Thomas R. Hakes, 17, of 2680 Merkle Road, Attica, was northbound on Route 98 near Cookson Road in a 1996 Ford pickup when he hit a snowdrift on the roadway. His car spun out and hit an embankment.

The accident occurred at 12:08 p.m.

No other vehicles were involved.

No citations were issued.

Deputy Brian Thompson investigated the accident.

(Initial Report)

January 10, 2010 - 4:19pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, accident, Route 98, Oak Orchard Road.

A car has hit a pole and wires are down in the area of 7797 Oak Orchard Road (Route 98).

Minor injuries are reported.

Mercy EMS and Town of Batavia Fire have been dispatched.

View Larger Map
January 2, 2010 - 2:11pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, elba, Route 98.

A truck overturned after hitting a utility pole on Route 98 just north of Ridge Road in Orleans County.

The accident was originally reported as in Genesee County, so Elba Fire and Mercy EMS were dispatched.

It is apparently a minor-injury accident. The driver was out of the vehicle when crews arrived.

Power was knocked out to a nearby building.

June 30, 2009 - 12:15am
posted by Michael T. Johnston in construction, roundabout, Oak Street, Route 98.

I recently heared a rumor that Oak Street will be going from a road that is two lanes each way, to a road that is only one lane each way. If this is true, this will be a disaster! How is anyone supposed to make a left turn onto Richmond, Allen or LaCrosse with the traffic coming from the other way in one lane? Do we expect everyone behind them to patiently wait for them to turn? This will be a road of disaster and road rage along with backups! Why do we we need parking along both sides of the street? People can park there now but no one does! The developers are beginning to make a mess out of things!

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