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Sumner Road

July 15, 2022 - 3:21pm
posted by Press Release in Sumner Road, Darien, infrastructure, news.

Press release:

County Highway will be closing Sumner Road approximately 1,000 feet east of Route 77 for a culvert replacement from 7 a.m., Monday, July 18 through 4 p.m., Wednesday, July 21.  This is adjacent to Darien Lake Theme Park and between Route 77 and the Darien Lake Employee entrance on Sumner Road.  The culvert replacement has been coordinated with Daren Lake and the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office to hit a gap in the busy concert schedule at the park.  It is expected that the road will be reopened by Wednesday evening. Use caution once reopened as the culvert crossing will remain a gravel surface until paving can occur once the concert season slows down.


July 27, 2012 - 6:32pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Six Flags Darien Lake, Darien, Sumner Road.

For Brian English, the prospect of people no longer parking on the front lawn of his home on Sumner Road won't make or break him.

He has a full-time job. He can still meet his expense budget. He just won't get the extra cash that made living next door to Darien Lake Theme Park so much fun.

For some of his neighbors, the new policy banning pedestrian traffic from entering the concert venue from off-site parking could be a problem, English said.

"I'm going to hate to lose the money, but I'm not going to go bankrupt," English said. "Some of the people that count on the money, it's going to drive them to bankruptcy."

When the new policy takes effect Aug. 17, according to officials, it is aimed at addressing three ongoing issues with concerts at the park:

  • Pedestrian safety on Sumner Road;
  • Traffic flow in and out of the venue;
  • Underage drinking sometimes associated with concerts at the venue.

Steve Hollowell, marketing director for Darien Lake, said the park's owners and management started working on a plan to deal with these issues last summer and decided to implement it this year.

Gordon Dibble, deputy chief with the Sheriff's Office, said it's been obvious there is a safety problem along Sumner Road on concert nights.

"Well, I think the safety concern is obvious to anybody that if you have that kind of foot traffic at any venue anywhere and then throw in alcohol into it, you don't have to be a police officer to understand the danger there," Dibble said. "It's a major concern."

Earlier this summer a young man stepped in front of a van on Sumner Road and was killed. Though the driver has been cleared of any wrongdoing, the accident remains under investigation and details about events around the accident have not been released.

Dibble and Hollowell both said they expect the changes to improve access into and out of the parking areas.

Hollowell said one of the major problems with the private lots is that the owners let all of their customers leave at the same time, dumping thousands of cars all at once onto Sumner Road. That blocks up traffic for customers who have parked for free in Darien's own lots.

The change will allow the Sheriff's Office to more efficiently manage the traffic, Dibble said, in part because with less traffic they can use Sumner as a detour when traffic to the Thruway becomes too backed up. Deputies will also be able to send traffic out of the back gate from the grass lots in either direction, giving the Sheriff's Office greater flexibility in managing traffic.

While there's never been a problem with law enforcement going onto private property, such as the Hill, to check for underage drinking, it isn't something deputies do often, Dibble said.

Typically, deputies position themselves at the bottom of the driveway to the Cherry Hill Campground or on Employee Road and detect and ticket alleged underage drinkers that way.

Hollowell said with all of the parking confined to the Darien Lake property, it will be easier for law enforcement and Darien Lake's own security to detect possible underage drinkers.

Officials hope that will reduce the amount of underage drinking at concerts.

"We think we will be able to better enforce the rules much more effectively in our own lots," Hollowell said.

Brian English said that if pedestrians on Sumner Road are an issue, that shouldn't really effect his property, which is on the north side of the road and pedestrians can walk right onto Darien's property without getting anywhere near the roadway.

Officials said allowing even access to the venue for pedestrians leaving his property and other north-of-the-road properties doesn't address the traffic flow issues.

The first area of construction for the new fences being erected by Darien Lake is directly across the road from Cherry Hill Campground, known far and wide as "The Hill."

The couple who identified themselves as the owners of Cherry Hill Campground, but didn't provide their names, refused an interview with The Batavian.

They objected to our coverage of the pedestrian's death (the man was hit on Sumner Road while crossing from the driveway of The Hill and the male owner objected to The Batavian reporting that the incident happened at The Hill) and they both objected to yesterday's headline on the Darien Lake parking story that began "End of The Hill."

'It's far from the end of 'The Hill,'" the man said.

The woman said, "When you can engage in unbiased reporting, then we'll talk with you."

To any further questions she said, "No comment."

August 21, 2010 - 10:06am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien, Sumner Road.

Three people were transported to area hospitals Friday evening following a two-car accident on Sumner Road and Route 77 in Darien.

One car allegedly stopped on Sumner at Route 77 but then pulled out on Route 77 while making a left-hand turn and was struck by the second vehicle, which was traveling southbound on Route 77.

The accident occurred at 7 p.m.

The driver of vehicle one is identified as Melissa M. Kenney, 40, of Exchange Street, Irving.

The second driver is Frederck W. Burtis, 30, of First Avenue, North Tonawanda.

Kenney had a passenger in her car, Rosemarie DeGeorge, 41.

Kenney and DeGeorge were taken to ECMC. Burtis was transported to UMMC.

While our initial report indicated that Mercy Flight was dispatched and did land, the accident report indicates all three passengers were taken by ground ambulance to the hospitals.

January 27, 2010 - 11:07am
posted by Howard B. Owens in accident, Darien, Sumner Road.

There are reportedly no injuries, but a person is trapped in a car that has turned on its side on Sumner Road, just outside the employee entrance of Darien Lake.

Darien Fire has been dispatched.

UPDATE 11:14 a.m.: Both occupants are out of the car. No injuries.

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