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Traffic changes planned for stretch of Delaware Avenue

Delaware Avenue from North Street to Forest Avenue will get cameras to help with traffic flow, will go down to three lanes, and will be repaved.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — A big stretch of Delaware Avenue in Buffalo is about to get an upgrade. It includes fresh crosswalks and something many city residents have wanted for years — new cameras to help with long waits at red lights.

If you have driven on Delaware Avenue from North Street to Cleveland Avenue this week, you have seen the traffic cones and that it is down to one lane in that direction. It is all part of a bigger project the City of Buffalo is working on.

Delaware Avenue from North Street to Forest Avenue will be repaved this year and get repainted crosswalks. Before that can happen though, crews have to make the sidewalk ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

They will also make this stretch of Delaware three lanes - one lane in each direction with a turning lane in the middle.

"We're also going to be doing a road diet to traffic calm the road. We're going to be converting it to three lanes similar to what we did for the downtown section which will calm traffic and improve safety. We're also going to be installing Miovision cameras to optimize all of the traffic signals along that corridor," Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Michael Finn said.

The Public Works Commissioner says the cameras use artificial intelligence to detect the shapes of cars waiting at red lights and traffic patterns.

"The camera, you can put one of them on top of the signal and it sees the entire intersection, so that's the latest and greatest technology and provides a benefit to motorists because it helps to minimize the wait time at traffic signals." 

"So that should fix the red light issue with the timing?" asked 2 On Your Side's Kelly Dudzik.

"That will certainly help. There's no perfect answers for traffic configuration, especially in urban environments where there's a lot of cross-traffic going in all directions, but what it will help us do is optimize that so people aren't waiting if there's a lot of traffic coming in one direction and not a lot in the other," Finn said.

2 On Your Side also asked him about privacy concerns. Finn says the cameras do not track license plates and that they just see the shapes of cars and don't record anything.

The upgrades to the sidewalk ramps should be done by this summer to make way for the paving part of the project.

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