Resolution proposed to eliminate Williamsville Toll Barrier
After years with no movement on a proposal to demolish the Williamsville toll barrier, local officials are trying to iron out the details. YNN's Katie Cummings spoke with officials and one business owner who say the change is long overdue.
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WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. -- A town of Amherst council member is putting forth two resolutions concerning the Williamsville toll barrier on the Thruway. Both ask the state to remove the barrier and release more information to the public concerning funding and project status. Officials say the toll barrier creates more traffic on Main Street in Williamsville.
"It’s just known that people will avoid that. Whether its 15 cents or 50 cents, it's stopping, it's potentially hitting congestion at those choke points and people will avoid those," said Town of Amherst Council Member Jay Anderson.
The traffic has been a concern for the village as it works to improve Main Street and make it more accessible.
"We know that a certain amount of volume is good for business. The problem is commuter volume is not, and when there are vehicles moving at high rates of speed in such high volume, it's impossible to cross the street if you have strollers or if you are in a wheel chair," said Williamsville Mayor Brian Kulpa.
"The noise pollution is so bad that you can’t communicate from north to south. Like if you see a friend on the north side of Main Street and you want to see hello, you can’t talk with them, it's too noisy," said The Wine Room Owner, Neil Kratzer.
Some have suggested moving the tolls farther east.
“If we moved the toll booth further east on the thruway, it will spur development and that will be a good thing for all of Western New York, but those people don’t want smog and noise and pollution out there either,” said Kratzer.
"Getting it away from population base would do a lot for traffic and would do a lot for pollutants entering the neighborhoods and entering the atmospheres where we have people living and playing," said Kulpa.
The two proposals will go before the Amherst Town board on Monday evening. In a phone conversation Friday, a representative from the New York State Thruway Authority said the agency is studying the matter.