Clarence, NY- Leaders in Clarence might have a plan to fix a notoriously dangerous intersection. Those who have experienced scary moments there say it's about time.
In intersection of County and Strickler Road was the scene an accident that claimed the lives of four teens in November 2009. More recently, a school bus flipped over when police say it was t-boned by a car that ran a stop sign there in May 2011. Just days after both those crashes, Two On Your Side was back at the scene covering crashes there again.
Clarence Town Councilman Patrick Casilio, his fellow council members, Town Supervisor David Hartzell, and town Highway Superintendent Ted Donner all agree it is time to make the intersection safer.
At the board meeting March 14th, town officials will likely vote in favor of a resolution to ask Erie County officials, who own the roads, to conduct a speed limit study of County Road.
Town officials are recommending the speed limit be reduced from 55 to 45 miles per hour, and then either a traffic light or roundabout be placed there.
"The first step is to do a traffic study on County Road. Check the amount of vehicles that are going down it, the speed the vehicles are traveling at, so that we can try to make the improvements to make it safer," said Casilio.
Currently there is only a 2-way stop sign at County and Strickler with traffic on Strickler stopping. Officials made those stop signs bigger and added warning signs after the school bus crash.
"It hasn't been enough," said Russ Sampson, whose 4-year-old was on the bus. "Since our accident there have been a couple other accidents at the intersection."
A traffic light or a roundabout would each cost the county about a million dollars to install. If Councilman Casilio had his choice, he says he would pick the roundabout. "With a traffic light as you know cars can run stop lights all the time, but a traffic circle would make that intersection safer."
Safety is all that matters for Russ Sampson. "I'm glad that my son was safe but the more that they can do here to save the next person is money well spent."
Officials say if they were to add a stop light or roundabout it would cost Erie County about a million dollars because they would need to make road improvements.
The Clarence Town Board is also considering asking the county to do studies at the intersections of Shimerville and Greiner and Thompson and Greiner, because they may also want to put roundabouts at those locations.