Williamsville should consider roundabouts
The May 11 paper carried a wonderful solution to the traffic snarl in the Village of Williamsville. “Not!” as the young people would say. One glance at the illustration shows how the proposal would have that section of Main Street go from a stressful experience for pedestrians to being a stressful experience for drivers. Give me a break. Putting the control of traffic into the hands of pedestrians will create an even worse bottleneck, thereby frustrating drivers and upping the risk factor of accidents.
If you have ever been to New York City, it is blatantly obvious that pedestrians are as big a contributor to the problem as are drivers, so why give either control? Whilst I do not have the whole solution, how about this for starters: roundabouts. The introduction of roundabouts at Kensington and Harlem in Cheektowaga has greatly improved traffic flow. Sure, there is a learning curve, but the end result is, it works.
The area around the 290 exits on the village side is large enough to accommodate a roundabout, as is the land at the Evans and Main intersection. With no left turns between these two locations, the flow will be more consistent and the pedestrian-controlled crossing might work.
While this may annoy a lot of drivers, it eliminates the middle lane, which will make up for intersection bump out. Also, some thought should be given to limiting the frequency between crossing light usage to allow a regulated traffic flow. Sure this may be annoying for pedestrians. This would balance out for the annoyance to drivers for having to go to the next roundabout and return to turn left.
Eliminating cross traffic could also improve pedestrian safety. A continuous, planted median, maybe. How about this for a starting point that addresses both Main Street users?