BUFFALO, N.Y. — "I got hit a couple times..."
Karl Fiebelkorn is a longtime resident of Amherst. He reached out to 2 On Your Side like dozens of other concerned residents, when we asked you to tell us about dangerous roadways and intersections around Western New York.
"One broke my left tibia one year, and one broke my right tibia." Fiebelkorn is a runner. He recalls three times when cars failed to yield at crosswalks and hit him, "And they're all hit and runs."
Fiebelkorn is especially concerned about the intersection of Millersport Highway and North Forest Road. It's a busy, fast moving intersection, with an NFTA bus stop a few feet away.
Although it has working signals and four crosswalks, 2 On Your Side went out there and witnessed cars blocking crosswalks and failing to yield to pedestrians.
"You have to kind of wait till the cars stop," explains Fiebelkorn, "and then run across. I run across there all the time...every morning."
The state acknowledges there are problems like this all over New York. It's documented in the 2016 Pedestrian Safety Action Plan.
In this report, the state compiled a list of focus counties. The list is the top 20 counties with the most pedestrian crashes between 2009 and 2013. Erie, Niagara, and Chautauqua counties all made that list. Erie was number four on the list, with over 2,145 pedestrian crashes. They compiled a similar list for the top 20 local communities. Buffalo was number two 1.254 pedestrian crashes. Niagara Falls was 18th with 226.
The state set aside $110 million to make pedestrian safety improvements. However, according to the state action plan, state roads will be fixed first. Of those projects approved for funding, the PSAP estimates only 20% will begin implementation by 2021.
2 On Your Side reached out to NYSDOT to find out more about this timetable and what this means for Western New York roadways. We're still waiting for a response.