CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. — Last summer a 16-year-old student from Cleveland Hill High School was hit and killed by a car while riding her bike on Union Road in Cheektowaga near the 33.

Her death prompted a study into the safety of that portion of Union Road, which is now leading to big changes for drivers.

"It was a tragedy. The parents lost Sherilann Lorenz, one of our youth and rec students who had taken a job during the summertime and was crossing near the intersection of Union Road and the 33. So, it was a devastation to all of us, especially to me losing a child two years ago. I know the devastation," Cheektowaga Town Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said.

The Cheektowaga Town Supervisor worked with Assemblymember Monica Wallace and State Senator Tim Kennedy to ask the state Department of Transportation to do a traffic study on the stretch of Union Road by the 33. That stretch averages 14,000 cars and trucks every day.

The study found changes are necessary.

"They did find we had an unusually high amount of collisions at that intersection. It's very outdated, and it's very dangerous, so they have authorized improvements to the intersection," Benczkowski said Tuesday night.

The specifics aren't out just yet, but we do know that they plan on replacing the signals at the ramps and making it safer for pedestrians.

They will also be closing one of the driveways near Airport Plaza to make it safer for everybody.

"It's very confusing. And then with the other traffic coming out of the plaza, and we do have more traffic around that area since we do have the Galleria Mall, and more stores," Benczkowski added.

The changes won't happen until the spring of 2021. If you have any ideas about how to fix this intersection, you need to turn them into the Greater Buffalo Niagara Regional Transportation Council by Tuesday.


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