TOWN OF NIAGARA – A traffic study by developers has determined that the proposed expansion at the Fashion Outlets of Niagara would not seriously impact traffic in the area.
However, at least one Town Board member was not convinced and wants more information.
Norman Gardner, a principal associate engineer with Clark Patterson Lee, told the Town Board last week that developers of the $71 million expansion at the Military Road mall had conducted a traffic study as part of the site plan. He said the study looked at 13 intersections in the area and concluded that the additional 170,000 square feet of space “won’t bring a significant increase” in traffic.
Increased traffic into the area and a host of other issues have been raised by the board, which has been designated the lead agency in the state environmental quality review process. As lead agent, the board has the authority to request, review and make recommendations on issues such as traffic, noise, air pollution, and drainage that are included in the studies developed by Macerich Co., the Santa Monica, Calif., company that owns the mall.
Councilman Charles F. Teixeira questioned the study, saying he wanted to know who did it for the developer and when it was conducted. Further discussion revealed that the study was done during one week in June.
Among his concerns, Teixeira said, was that the report failed to include accident data. Town police have to respond to accident calls, and any increase would have a big impact on “such a small police force,” he told Gardner.
Officials said more information also is needed about issues ranging from a storm water management plan for the site to building and fire code compliance .
Gardner, who recommended the officials collect all the data before making any decisions, is meeting with the board on a monthly basis at the direction of Supervisor Steven Richards.