Local Matters

Recent comments

Community Sponsors


June 7, 2020 - 1:14pm
posted by Billie Owens in traffic, batavia, scanner.

A blue Honda Odyssey and a red Chevrolet SUV collided at East Main and Bank streets in Downtown Batavia, partially blocking traffic. No words on injuries.

Batavia police, fire and Mercy medics responded.

September 10, 2019 - 4:04pm
posted by Billie Owens in traffic, news, scanner, batavia.

The dispatch center has received numerous phone calls complaining of "significant traffic back up in the area of West Main and Woodrow Road due to all the road closures." City police are responding for traffic control.

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 9, 2012 - 9:37am
posted by Timothy Hens in traffic, Bridge Closed, Highway Work.

The Stroh Road bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in Alexander will be closed next week for repairs. Stroh Road will be closed from Maplewood Avenue to Route 98.  Local traffic will be allowed west of the bridge on Stroh Rd. Trucks from Route 20 will not have access to Route 98 via Sandpit Rd.

Repairs will be made to the bridge expansion joints and the work should be completed in 2 to 3 days.

July 25, 2011 - 4:09pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in traffic, Pavilion.

One light is staying red at Route 63 and Route 19, while the other light changes from red to green and back, according to a report to dispatchers.

Traffic is backing up.

Law enforcement is dispatched.

December 30, 2010 - 7:02pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in law enforcement, traffic.

Starting New Year's Day, if you see an emergency vehicle with lights flashing, proceed with caution.

Of course, that's always been true -- if you have any thought of your own safety or the safety of emergency personnel -- but now, failure to do so could lead to a hefty fine.

Sheriff Gary Maha issued a press release today drawing attention to a new law that makes it mandatory for drivers to move over to the traffic lane furthermost from a stopped emergency vehicle that has flashing lights.

On single-lane roads, drivers are required to slow down and provide plenty of distance when passing stopped emergency vehicles.

While not specifying the amount of the fine, Maha said it is substantial and drivers will also get points on their record.

The law, called the "Move Over Act," was passed by the state Legislature in response to a pair of fatal accidents involving law enforcement officers. 

One accident took the life of Trooper Robert Ambrose and the other of Onondaga County Sheriff's Deputy Glenn Searles. 

Ambrose was killed when his patrol unit was rear-ended on the Thruway in Yonkers. Upon impact, his car burst into flames. The driver who struck his car was drunk and traveling at 80 mph. 

Searles was killed while assisting a stranded motorist. Another driver lost control of his car, pinning Searles against his patrol vehicle.

Maha: "Every driver has a vested interest in cooperatively keeping county roads safe. The men and women of the Genesee County Sheriff's Office remain determined to impartially and respectfully enforce the law to protect life and property of all citizens."

November 17, 2010 - 8:09am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic.

There is a disabled school bus partially blocking traffic in a westbound lane of Main Street near Oak Street.

Police are on scene and a tow truck is on its way.

September 20, 2010 - 3:36pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, lewiston road, traffic, Park Road.


Crews are completing roadwork at the intersection of Lewiston and Park roads, creating a good deal of congestion in the area.

August 10, 2010 - 3:30pm
posted by WBTA News in crash, traffic, Mercy Flight.

One man is in critical condition today after the car he was riding in collided with a tow truck driven by a Batavia man.

On Monday, 24-year-old Jacob A. Staskiewicz of Batavia-Bethany Townline Road was apparently driving a tow truck on Maxon Road for A.J.'s Tow Service of Attica. Wyoming County Sheriff's deputies say Staskiewicz failed to stop for a sign at the intersection with Route 20A. He drove into the path of a 2008 Buick driven by 49-year-old Michael J. Lauber of Buffalo.

Lauber's backseat passenger, 62-year-old Richard A. Kosha, sustained serious head trauma in the ensuing collision. He was Mercy Flighted to Erie County Medical Center and is in critical condition today.

Lauber and his front-seat passenger, 59-year-old Garrick D. James, were taken by ambulance to ECMC for neck and arm pain.

Jacob Staskiewicz was not injured in the crash. He has been issued a traffic summons for alleged failure to stop at a stop sign.

The investigation into the crash is ongoing.

View Larger Map

May 25, 2010 - 9:14pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, crime, traffic.

Sixty-two drivers in Batavia received traffic citations in May as part of a joint Batavia PD and State Police effort to crack down on mobile phone use and seat belt violators.

The Batavia Police received a grant earlier to help fund increased enforcement of these laws as part of a statewide effort.

In May, checkpoints were set up on Law, Clinton and Oak streets.

The State Police cooperated in the last location, setting up its Commercial Vehicle Enforcement Unit. Nine tickets were issued to truck drivers at the checkpoint near the Thruway entrance.

The city will conduct future enforcement actions as part of the grant it received from the governor's Traffic Safety Committee.

CORRECTION: Lt. Henning informed me that I got my enforcement grants mixed up. The grant for this particular set of checkpoints was for police to look for vehicle violations. You drive through a check point and the police check your registration and inspection, etc.  There is another grant, also still active in the city, for seat belt and mobile phone violations.  The May results of that enforcement effort have not been released yet.

April 27, 2010 - 3:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, Ellicott Street.

Remember the two Town of Batavia employees we found at Main and Ellicott one day last week counting cars?

countingcars.jpgA few days later, I ran into Town of Batavia Supervisor Greg Post and he explained to me why what they were doing was so important.

The town wants to make sure the state is working with up-to-date, accurate data before making a decision to reduce Ellicott Street from two lanes in each direction to one, with a turn lane down the center.

Disrupting traffic flow on Ellicott, Post said, could significantly hurt four of the county's biggest employers -- Hanson Aggregates, Chapin Industries, Graham Manufacturing and O-AT-KA Milk Cooperative. 

All four rely on big trucks being able rumble down Ellicott and if it turned out that reducing the number of lanes on the street through both the city and town added minutes to each trip, that could add up to a truck load of money.

Post said most of those trucks cost about $75 to $85 per hour to operate, so a five-minute travel delay adds about $7.50 to the cost of moving product or material.

"Ultimately, somebody has to pay for that delay," Post said.

And it's not just the local businesses that rely on smooth sailing down Ellicott, a lot of Western New York truck traffic passes through Batavia on Route 63.

By making the effort to get an accurate count a multi-jurisdiction effort, Post said he hopes the Department of Transportation will have better data to work with.

"The state has had budget cutbacks just like everybody else," Post said, explaining why a multi-agency approach made sense.

There were counters from the DOT out at the same time as the town employees.

As for using human counters instead of automatic counters in rubber hoses laid across the roadway, Post said people can pay attention to where cars turn, not just that they passed over a certain spot. Also, since we're not out of snow season yet, the counting boxes could be easily damaged if plowers were put back into action. He said costwise, it doesn't make that much difference -- a lot of boxes would have needed to be placed on Main and Ellicott to get an accurate picture of traffic patterns.

"This is just an effort to find all the most accurate and up-to-date information possible," Post said. "This is a major project. We want to get it right. There's the old saying, 'measure twice, cut once.'"

April 21, 2010 - 1:08pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, Ellicott Street, main street.


Joseph Neth and Marcy Crandall are Town of Batavia employees. Their assignment today: Sit for two hours at the corner of Main and Ellicott streets and count cars. Neth said it's his understanding that the state is thinking of reducing the lanes of traffic through the intersection and the car counts are part of the study for that proposal.

April 1, 2010 - 12:34pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, main street.


Seven or eight trucks carrying wide loads, along with multiple escort vehicles, passed through Batavia on Main Street this morning.

At about 11:30, traffic was tied up between Ellicott and Oak streets, as at least four police cars were used to block traffic, allowing the convoy to pass safely along the route.

The trucks appeared to be hauling windmill parts.

December 10, 2009 - 1:17pm
posted by Billie Owens in traffic, weather.

More traffic woes:

An elderly man was stuck in his vehicle off the roadway, west of Wortendyke and east of Upton roads. But now he's at home and a tow truck is en route to get his car.

There's a vehicle stuck on Main Street in front of the jail in Batavia.

There's a vehicle sticking out into the roadway at Ellicott and Linwood in Batavia.

Big-rig in ditch in Pembroke.

December 10, 2009 - 1:00pm
posted by Billie Owens in traffic, weather.

As if things weren't bad enough out there, youths are reported to be disrupting traffic, throwing snowballs at vehicles near Washington Avenue and Ellicott Street.

(Law enforcement and emergency crews are swamped and now someone has to deal with this, too.)

October 9, 2009 - 8:47pm
posted by Charlie Piscitello in traffic, New York state, laws, white cane, pedestrian.
Event Date and Time: 
October 1, 2009 (All day) to October 31, 2009 (All day)

October 15th is White Cane Awareness Day. October is White Cane Awareness Month.  The White Cane enables freedom, self-reliance, and identification to the public.  Only persons who are legally blind are allowed to carry a long white cane with a red strip above the tip.  New York State's White Cane Law requires drivers to yield to persons carrying a white cane or using a guide dog. 

Pedestrians with a visual impairment need to concentrate when crossing.  Do not honk or shout that it is safe to cross.  Give pedestrians room to cross.  Stop before the crosswalk, not in it. 

September 14, 2009 - 10:18am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, Seven Springs Road.

A reader called to report that a train has stopped at the Seven Springs Road crossing and hasn't moved for more than five minutes.

I'm in court all morning. If anybody has any other information or update, please leave a comment.

July 21, 2009 - 9:26am
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, Oak Street.


Word is this morning, driver frustration is high on Oak Street, as portions of the road have been reduced to a single lane near Main Street.  Traffic is backing up southbound with occasional long lines both east and west on Main (but, then, long lines at Main and Oak aren't unusual).  A DOT supervisor at the site said "if the weather cooperates" the work will be done, from Oak to the Thurway, will be done in three days.

Meanwhile, if you're coming from into town from north of the Thruway, consider entering Batavia on State Street.

April 2, 2009 - 5:22pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in batavia, traffic, red light cameras.

Several cities in New York have lobbied the Legislature to allow them to install traffic enforcement  cameras to help catch drivers who run red lights.

Red light cameras are controversial because many citizens view the devices as a get-quick-rich scheme for municipalities, while often times law enforcement officials defend the automated cops as a legitimate traffic control measure.

So the natural question is, if Batavia had the chance, would officials like to install such cameras at any intersections in the city?

City Council President Charlie Mallow said the subject has come up in informal discussions around City Hall, but there is no immediate plans to pursue the option.

"The city has a huge problem with out-of-town truck traffic and speeders bypassing the Thruway," Mallow said. "Traffic is the number one complaint I hear from residents."

Even so, Chief of Police Randy Baker said he hasn't looked into the issue at all. He's aware there is talk of installing the cameras in other cities, but no such proposal has been floated in Batavia as far as he knows.

"I'm not sure even what's involved," Baker said. "I'm not sure how expensive the cameras are or what kind of support is needed."

Council member Rosy Mary Christian said she hasn't given the issue any thought because none of her constituents have raised the issue.

But Mallow doesn't think the idea is off the boards.

"The city already has a plate reader on a (police) car that I’m told has been very effective," Mallow said.  "I guess I have yet to make up my mind about these cameras. If the police department believed it would be effective, I would be open to discussing it."

Both Buffalo and Rochester have long sought permission from the Legislature to install the cameras. The Buffalo City Council voted this week to ask Albany again if it could install 50 cameras. Rochester is expected to seek permission in a City Council vote today, according to an article in the Democrat and Chronicle.

September 24, 2008 - 1:21pm
posted by Philip Anselmo in community, Daily News, Neighborhoods, traffic.

Residents of Batavia's southside neighborhood assembled outside the home of Anne Marie Starowitz on Chestnut Street yesterday to talk traffic, according to the Daily News. Several city officials came out. Also on hand were engineers from FRA Engineering, the firm that is handling the construction of the Oak Street roundabout.

Reporter Joanne Beck writes:

[Residents] fear what may happen once a roundabout project gets going next spring ... at the intersection of Walnut, South Main, Pearl, Oak and Franklin streets. The plan includes a detour along Route 98, at Law Street, to alleviate some traffic congestion near the construction zone. All of that detoured traffic will then spill into the southside neighborhood, the Starowitz's said.

Councilwoman Rose Mary Christian passed out a letter that said other parts of the city have also been affected by construction projects. That sounds like a good point to make. When we're talking about downtown construction projects and traffic detours, isn't there always a neighborhood that has to bear the brunt of it?

Anne Marie Starowitz:

"My major concern is this is just politics as usual. It's done, and your voice means nothing. These (City Councilmen) are elected to represent us. I'm really concerned about the children."

Residents were told that their concerns will be taken to the city for consideration.

Speaking of construction, the Genesee County Economic Development Center is about finished with all of its projects for the season, save for the Genesee Valley Agri-Business Park. Work will get underway on that project this fall, weather permitting.

Speaking of traffic, a pickup truck was engulfed in flames at the intersection of Lewiston Road and Veterans Memorial Drive in the town of Batavia yesterday afternoon. Traffic through the area was redirected while fire crews put out the blaze.

We encourage you to pick up a copy of the Daily News at your local newsstand. Or, better yet, subscribe at BataviaNews.com.

Subscribe to The Batavian - Local Matters

Copyright © 2008-2022 The Batavian. All Rights Reserved. Privacy Policy | Terms of Service

blue button

News Break