Officials at the state Department of Transportation believe “Picture Main Street,” Williamsville’s plan to make its commercial strip more pedestrian-friendly, “will enhance the vision of the village while maintaining the safe and efficient movement of all modes of traffic on Main Street.”
But that doesn’t mean state bureaucrats are willing to throw their rulebooks aside.
In a letter sent recently to Williamsville Mayor Brian J. Kulpa, state planning and program manager Ramsey E. Kahi said the state will have to study many of the pedestrian elements to see if they are feasible.
Elements like parking lanes, pedestrian refuge islands and bulb-outs “would need to be analyzed for traffic impacts,” Kahi said, and all gateway features proposed by the village will also need to be looked at to see if they meet certain transportation codes.
Other measures like the proposed pedestrian signal and any additional signage will need to comply with the Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, the standard guidebook for traffic engineers.
In addition, the state would reevaluate Main Street in the village “after the project was implemented to determine if a reduction to 30 mph is appropriate,” Kahi wrote.
Kulpa, the mayor, did not appear discouraged last week at the long list of regulations the village will need to comply with in order to make the changes that would calm traffic and make the Main Street strip more accessible to pedestrians.
He said many of the guidelines were expected as normal state protocol and added the plan was developed in concert with state officials, who generally support the plan’s overall goals.
Also this week:
• The Village of Williamsville’s wading pools will close for the season Sunday.
• The Amherst Town Board will hold its regular meeting at 3 p.m. Monday in the council chambers of the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St., Williamsville.
• The village Parks Committee will meet Monday at 6:30 p.m. at Village Hall, 5565 Main St.
• The village Tree Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Village Hall.
• The Sweet Home School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the community center of Sweet Home High School, 1901 Sweet Home Road. Presentations about technology, capital projects and tax rates and assessments will be given.
• The Amherst Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in council chambers of the Amherst Municipal Building, 5583 Main St. Topics for discussion include the controversial Hyatt Place hotel on Main Street and permits for raising backyard chickens.
• The Amherst School Board will meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the district office conference room, 55 Kings Highway.
• The Amherst Arts and Culture in Public Places Board will meet at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in the council conference room at the Amherst Municipal Building.
• The village Zoning Board of Appeals will meet at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Village Hall.
• State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer will hold a free car seat safety check from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday at the Main-Transit Fire Department, 6777 Main Street.
Three out of every four car seats aren’t secure due to improper use, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Car seats decrease the risk of fatality in cars by 71 percent for infants and 54 percent for toddlers, Ranzenhofer said.
“Every parent knows installing their child’s car seat isn’t as easy as a click of a seat belt, and the pages and pages of instructions that are included in the box often don’t make it any easier. With the first day of school right around the corner, I am encouraging parents and grandparents to get their child’s car seat checked,” said Ranzenhofer.
The program is being held in conjunction with the Amherst Police Department and New York State Police. No appointment is necessary. Residents can contact Ranzenhofer’s district office at 631-8695 for more information.