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New HAWK signal part of walkable Williamsville effort

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Chris Caya/WBFO News
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A critical piece of a proposed project to calm traffic on Main Street in the Village of Williamsville has been approved. The Village will soon have the first HAWK signal ever used in New York State.  A traffic study that revealed Main Street in the Village handles more than 45,000 vehicles a day led the State Department of Transportation to approve installation of a High-Intensity Activated crossWalK beacon in front of the Williamsville Branch Library.

The signals are used around the country, but State Senator Michael Ranzenhofer says initially the DOT rejected the HAWK signal.

"This will make crossing Main Street safe. You will not be taking your life into your hands, as you often do, when you cross Main Street," said Ranzenhofer.

The signals are only activated by pedestrians. After pushing a button, the signal flashes yellow, then steady yellow, then steady red to stop traffic.

The HAWK signal is part of the Picture Main Street project designed to revitalize the Village.

"We hear a lot about how pedestrian access helps economic development; how it stimulates business growth; how it allows people to live a healthier lifestyle in the Village that they live in. It adds to the live, work, play, atmosphere," says Williamsville Mayor Brian Kulpa.

Kulpa says the project between Union Road and Williamsville South High School will include bulb-outs, pedestrian refuge islands, and landscaping. He says the $3.5 million project is scheduled to get underway next spring.

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