BUFFALO, N.Y. - Gail Hudson wants a sign to alert drivers and people on her street that there is a child living with autism in the area. It is her great-grandson and she wants him to be as safe as possible.
Hudson has been trying for two years to get a sign that says "Child With Autism Area" in front of her home.
Unfortunately, she's run into roadblocks with the City of Buffalo Department of Public Works.
"I'm more than frustrated," she said. "Last summer he(her great-grandson) did get too close to the curb, but it's just a blink of an eye," she said, referring to how fast something could happen. "My street is like the 33, they race up and down."
Lovejoy District Councilman Richard Fontana is aware of the concern. "We want her to have the sign, we've contacted the DPW many times over the years. The department tells me in the City of Buffalo, they are not allowed to put those up because there's no state referencing ordinances that allow them to do that."
When 2 On Your Side reached out to the city for an explanation, the spokesman Mike DeGeroge sent us a copy of the Cornell Local Roads Program. It says "the use of 'Autistic Child' warning signs is not allowed in New York." It further states, "the installation of a sign that purports to somehow protect a certain group of people (in this case, autistic children) can open a municipality to liability."
Ironically, less than a mile away from Hudson's home in Buffalo is a sign alerting driver about an autistic child. The difference is the sign is in the Town of Cheektowaga. It s troubling for Hudson.
"You can see them all out in the suburbs but you don't see any in Buffalo," Hudson says.
2 On Your Side will stay on top of this matter.