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Summit Street

Driver of car that fled from police Sunday morning not yet located, public input sought

By Howard B. Owens
checking vin number
An officer checks the VIN of a vehicle from a chase that stopped at 5 Summit before the suspect fled on foot.
Photo by Howard Owens

A suspect who fled from a Batavia police patrol attempting to make a traffic stop at Ellicott Street and Liberty Street was not located following an early Sunday morning search in the area of Washington Avenue and Summit Street.

At 12:25 a.m., an officer observed a Ford Edge that was facing south in the northbound lane, according to Det. Eric Hill, in his role as public information officer for Batavia PD. When the officer attempted to stop the vehicle, it ran a red light and sped away.

There was a short pursuit when the driver apparently lost control trying to negotiate a turn from East Main Street onto Summit Street, stopping in the driveway of 5 Summit St. 

The suspect exited the vehicle and fled on foot, running north through backyards, and was last seen by an officer heading west on Washington Avenue in the area of 221 Washington Ave.

The suspect was described as black, approximately 30 years old, wearing a plaid jacket.

A perimeter was established with patrols stationed at Washington and Summit, Bank and Washington, Bank and North, and North and Summit.  A K-9 was deployed for the search.

At 2:18 a.m., the search was halted without officers locating the suspect.

Hill said the vehicle is valid and has not been reported stolen.

Anyone with information or in the area of the perimeter is asked to check their cameras and contact Batavia PD at 585-345-6350. 

(Initial Report)

Photo: Paving Summit Street

By Howard B. Owens


With paving underway today, the $2.5 million reconstruction project for Summit Street is near completion for the major portion of the work. There are still trees to plant and other finishing touches that need to be done; crews could wrap the major work up today.

Summit Street infrastructure project expected to be done by the end of next week

By Billie Owens

The $2.5 million Summit Street reconstruction project that started this summer in the heart of the city is winding down and Matt Worth, the city's Department of Public Works superintendent, says he expects everything to be completed week's end.

By contract, the work has to be "substantially done" by the end of the month, that's Monday. 

Worth said putting down the black top will technically substantially complete the project. Though that task is "a little weather-dependant, the forecast looks like that will be happening Monday."

Next is the completing the landscaping.

Thirty trees were removed because they conflicted with installation of curbs and sidewalks, or they were in a deteriorated condition. Sixty-two new trees are being planted. Worth added that this is an ideal time to plant the trees, according to the nursery they are working with, and it's apparently good to wait for the trees to become dormant for the season before planting them.

Grass seeding has been completed on the east side, and the finishing touch to the landscaping-- grass seeding on the west side -- will be done by Friday.

Also, crosswalks and stop bars will need to be painted on the fresh asphalt.

"We're really looking to bundle this up, so by the end of next week, I believe those things will have occurred," Worth said.

The Rochester engineering firm of Erdman Anthony has been supervising independent contract companies on this locally administered federal-aid project.

Workers removed the old road, put in new storm, sewer and drainage systems, and paved the road. Federal and state funds covered all but about $100,000 of the cost, with the city responsible for the rest.

The city also funded a $350,000 project to install new water main on Summit Street.

Our news partner WBTA AM/FM contributed to this story.

For previous coverage about the city's infrastructure projects this year, click here.

Summit Street reconstruction project underway, so access is limited

By Billie Owens

Press release from City Department of Public Works:

The contractor for the Summit Street reconstruction has begun work, and as a result, traffic access will be limited during this project.

Please observe the posted detours, and use caution when traveling in the construction zone.

The initial phase of this project will impact the Summit Street sidewalk on the east side of the road, but the west sidewalk will be open and passable for pedestrians.

About 30 trees will be removed soon on Summit Street in advance of reconstruction project, later about 60 trees will be planted

By Billie Owens

Press release from Matt Worth, director of the City's Department of Public Works:

The City has begun tree removal work on Summit Street in advance of the reconstruction project to be completed this summer.

This work will result in the removal of approximately 30 tree on Summit Street, which need to be removed as they conflict with new utilities, sidewalks or curb lines to be installed, or they are in a deteriorated condition.

This work may result in some short-term delays to the traveling public on Summit Street until the removals are complete, which is expected to take a couple of weeks.

The reconstruction of Summit Street includes the installation of approximately 60 new trees as part of the landscaping work to be completed as part of this project.

Public meeting Monday evening at City Hall on planned reconstruction of Summit Street

By Billie Owens

Press release:

The City of Batavia will have an Informational Meeting regarding the planned reconstruction of Summit Street from East Main Street to North Street. This project is a locally administered federal-aid project that is scheduled for construction in 2016.

The informational “open house” meeting is scheduled for 4 to 7 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 16th, at the Batavia City Hall in the Council Board Room (2nd Floor).

City staff and the consultant engineering firm, Erdman Anthony, will be available to review plans, discuss the project, listen to concerns and answer any questions you may have.

It used to be criminals who stunk up Summit Street, now it's just skunks

By Howard B. Owens


A year ago, the problems on Summit Street included drugs and public domestic disputes and a general sense that the bad guys were winning, so a couple of neighbors started talking about how they might solve the problem.

Det. Rich Schauf got involved along with other members of Batavia PD. Leanna Di Risio from Vibrant Batavia was brought in. Residents started holding monthly meetings. Police started communicating more directly with residents. People started looking out for their street. Things changed.

This week, the biggest concern on Summit Street is a few skunks who have been wandering around the neighborhood.

"When the police issues identified come down to that, that obviously says a lot," Di Risio said during a neighborhood pizza party on Saturday. "I think when people see that neighbors are coming together, and they have that bond and they're looking out for each other, it makes for a better neighborhood."

Don Hirons, his wife Pam, and another neighbor got the ball rolling about a year ago, and soon they were talking with a couple of other longtime residents, including Richard Beatty, and that led to direct communication with law enforcement about what could be done. Word of the conversations reached City Manager Jason Molino who thought this was a perfect project for Vibrant Batavia. Together, they started holding monthly meetings at City Hall, with attendance at the most recent meeting attended by 20 residents of Summit Street.

"Rather than just sitting still and letting things happen, we thought maybe we need to do something," Hirons said. "We can't just sit back. We've lived on the street 35 years. That's a big investment of time. We've seen a lot of people come and go. There's a lot of homeowners who are not with us anymore and some of those homes have been turned into rentals. We've got folks we see come and go, so I guess what I'm saying is we didn't want to see this street -- we've seen it when it was a place where you didn't mind bringing your kids out -- to one where you had to be more careful. Both my wife and I saw that happening and we felt it was important to make sure to preserve the integrity of the street."

The way police have patrolled Summit Street hasn't really changed, Schauf said, nor is it any different from streets facing similar issues, but what has changed is the communication, and that has made a huge difference. When arrests are made, and as cases make it through the legal system, the department communicates with a resident about what has happened and that information is shared neighbor-to-neighbor. That gives residents confidence that action is being taken, raises their awareness and encourages them to continue to report issues immediately as they arise.

"Our department has 30 sworn officers," Schauf said. "There are 15,000 people who live in the city and during the day, there could be between 25,000 or 30,000 people here, so you do the math. You're always outnumbered, so without eyes and ears, without generally good people, we'd have chaos. To have people with eyes and ears and willing to share information so we can react to it, whether it's anti-social behavior or it has to do with quality of life, we can deal with it quickly."

When neighbors look out for each other, Schauf said, it helps encourage people less interested in being good citizens to find different locations for their criminal activity.

"Crime prevention isn't about crime going away," Schauf said. "It's about crime moving, because if we could do away with crime, we would have done that by now, but we can't. So it's about pushing crime down the road. It's not at your house and you're protected and you're helping your neighbors, that's going to push crime out of your neighborhood."

The residents of Summit Street feel so good about what they've been able to accomplish, they've had two parties this summer and fall. Earlier in the year they had an ice cream social. They're talking about a block party next summer and shutting down Summit Street for the afternoon.

Di Risio said there's also a lot of interest in forming more of a neighborhood association, which would include a classic welcome wagon for new Summit Street residents, and signs on the streets -- but not the negative message of a "Neighborhood Watch," but something with a more positive spin about how residents care about each others' well being.

"The best part of this is you start getting to know people," Beatty said. "You know their situations and a little bit about their families. It's been very encouraging. It's been a positive experience the way it's been going. Before this started, I didn't know Don and Pam. I didn't know the folks down the street or the folks on the corner, or any of them, so it's been a very positive thing."

The fact that the biggest issue on Summit is skunks is a good thing, Schauf said, but that isn't the end of the story.

"I've done this long enough to know that problems come and go," Schauf said. "So, right now, I'm not saying, 'This is great, we've solved it. We're the best and the neighborhood is well on its way to no problems.' I think there could still be problems, but we can react to it not just as one person complaining, but as a group, and when a group looks out for each other, it makes them stronger."







Summit Street to be closed Thursday for repaving

By Howard B. Owens

Press release:

On Thursday Aug. 7, the City of Batavia Infrastructure Improvement Project will finish paving on Summit Street, weather permitting. This phase of the project includes paving the roadway; the work zone will be from East Main Street (RTS 5 / 33) to North Street.

Given the scope of this work Summit Street will be closed to all thru traffic on Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Local traffic will be allowed to access their residences throughout the duration of this phase, however thru traffic will be detoured by use of Ross Street and Bank Street. No parking will be permitted on Summit Street during this time.

Weather permitting, it is anticipated that this phase of the project will be completed in one day. The City of Batavia and Keeler Construction Co., Inc., appreciates your patience and cooperation during the construction and asks motorists and pedestrians to abide by this closure and use the posted detour whenever possible.

The point of contact is the Department of Public Works at 345-6325.

Meeting scheduled to discuss Summit Street redesign

By Howard B. Owens

Batavia residents, particularly on Summit Street, are invited to a public meeting from 5 to 8 p.m., Thursday, to provide input on reconstruction plans for the street.

The redesign and construction is a locally administered federal aid project scheduled for completion in 2015.

Erdman Anthony has been retained by the city to provide survey, field mapping and engineering services for the project.

Engineering studies are in progress.

According to a city press release, during the design process, comment and input from affected residents and businesses are "valuable and necessary elements for achieving a successful project."

The meeting will begin with a brief overview of the project and discussion will proceed in an open house format, allowing interaction with consultants from Erdman Anthony and city staff.

UPDATE: The meeting is being held at city hall.

Pedestrian struck by truck on Summit Street

By Howard B. Owens

A pedestrian has been hit by a dump truck in the area of 29 Summit St., Batavia.

The initial report had people trying to help her get up.

Mercy EMS and Batavia Fire and Police are responding.

UPDATE 2:54 p.m.: The person struck was not walking, but on a bicycle.

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City could use federal funds to improve Cedar and Summit streets

By Howard B. Owens

The City of Batavia could reconstruct both Cedar Street and Summit Street at no direct cost to local taxpayers, the City Council was told tonight.

By combining annual federal infrastructure funds the city already gets with an 80-percent funding grant, the city could complete $5.7 million projects by 2012 and not a dime would come from city coffers.

The 80-percent grant is Federal money that is administered by the state.

The city must apply for the grant.

Reconstruction would rebuild the streets rather than just repave them, which was recently done to Oak Street.

Summit will cost an estimated $2.2 million and Cedar, $3.5 million.

The city plans to move ahead with design work that will put it in a position to receive the grants, using funding already available from the feds.

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