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New pedestrian-friendly streetscape moving forward in Williamsville

Chris Caya/WBFO News

The Village of Williamsville is moving ahead with plans to improve Main Street. Rep. Brian Higgins has helped to secure millions of dollars in funding for the project.To help make Williamsville more pedestrian friendly, Higgins says the Picture Main Street initiative will receive $2.5 million in federal highway funding. That's on top of the $1.1 million the village has committed to the project.

The changes are designed to have a calming effect, but Williamsville Mayor Brian Kulpa says Main Street will still accommodate its current traffic volume.

Credit Chris Caya/WBFO News
Williamsville Mayor Brian Kulpa outlined the initiative Tuesday.

"We want to develop a Main Street that moves slower when there isn't a lot of volume, moves the volume through during our rush hours, but is more focused on giving pedestrians a better vantage point, a better takeoff and landing when crossing a quieter street. Something that feels a little bit more isolated when you're on the sidewalk," Kulpa said.

"So it's all focused on the pedestrian experience and it's not meant to interrupt the vehicular experience during those heavy commute times."

The improvements include sidewalk bulb outs, raised medians, enhanced crosswalks and landscaping.

Other improvements include:

  • Sidewalk bulb outs to reduce the crossing distance and allow for more landscaping at the intersections of Main Street at Union, South Long, Reist, California, Los Robles, Rock, Cayuga as well as mid-block at: Spring, Mill, Oak Grove, South Ellicott, Garrison/Evans and Hirschfield. 
  • Enhanced crosswalks at Main and Union, Main and Reist, Los Robles/Grove, Cayuga, Spring, Mill, South Ellicott, Main and Evans/Garrison, and Main and Hirschfield.
  • Raised medians at the corner of Main Street and Evans as well as near the Library on Main Street to create a pedestrian friendly crossing experience
  • The HAWK signal (High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon) in front of the Library and new pocket park will fuse the north side of Main Street and Spring Street with the municipal complex, parking and Island park, providing mid-block access with pedestrian refuge. This technology is widely used throughout the country.
  • Storm water management featuring rain gardens or permeable pavement to reduce pollution and improve standing water situations.

Kulpa says shovels should be in the ground next year.

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