NORTH TONAWANDA – The North Tonawanda Common Council hosted a Student Government Day on Tuesday with 22 students shadowing the top jobs in City Hall, which included roles as top elected officials on the Common Council.
Among the items approved by the student Common Council, acting on behalf of the aldermen, was an amendment to the Meadow Drive Extension, which would allow the Council to spend additional money to redesign the traffic signal at Meadow Drive and Nash Road.
City Engineer Dale Marshall said after the meeting that the federally funded, east to west extension between Nash Road and Erie Avenue, is expected to be completed in April or May. However, the extension may not be able to handle the additional traffic at Meadow and Nash without the redesign, which would update a 1985-era traffic signal and add a turning lane.
“I’m looking at putting in a whole new intersection. It would probably be better from a safety standpoint to redesign the intersection because it is a major pedestrian intersection. You have a lot of students – a lot of elementary students, the high school and a lot of foot traffic with the library,” Marshall said. “Now you are inviting more traffic westbound.”
He said the redesign would additionally allow the city to install more pedestrian crossing buttons with walk/don’t walk lights as well. He said they would also add loops to detect the cars, along with the turning lanes, so traffic doesn’t back up, and move power poles so buses would have a wider turning radius.
“The reason we can do that is because we are on budget on the project,” Marshall said.
Marshall said they are already adding a new intersection at Erie Avenue and Meadow Drive and are hoping to use crews committed to that intersection to work on the redesign of the existing intersection at Meadow Drive and Nash Road.
He said they may “jury rig” something temporarily at the existing intersection so the new road can open in the spring.
In other business, the council heard from resident Ann Finkle of Sun Valley Drive, who asked the council to work with the Riviera Theatre to provide portable handicapped parking signs that can be rolled out for special events. She was asked to refer her request to the traffic committee.