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Untangling Buffalo's Elmwood-Forest intersection

Mike Desmond
The Elmwood-Forest intersection can be tricky to navigate.
Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
Changes would include the creation of a bike lane.

The intersection of Elmwood and Forest avenues in the Elmwood Village is a tangled intersection - cars flowing from all directions and the pedestrians typical of the community all arriving at a corner with limited safety lights and vanished pavement markings.

The city's Public Works Department wants to solve some of the problems with pavement markings, but no construction. The markings would make the lanes clear and include the creation of a bike lane.

"There's a lot of pedestrians, as well, and I think that the turning lanes and more clear demarcations will assist with all of the pedestrians that are walking north and south to the Buff State campus and to and from all the restaurants and bars on the strip," says Courtney Huckle, president of the North Claremont Block Club.

Huckle represents some of the neighbors pushing for changes.

Credit Mike Desmond / WBFO News
New pavement markings would be included in the changes.

"There is a wide enough space for turning lanes and straight lanes, and so people tend to treat it that way, whether or not the street is marked for that," Huckle says. "and because the way it's not marked and people treat it that way, it creates an unsafe scenario, where some cars are turning, some are not, some are treating it like a turning lane, some are not."

The department will have to make a presentation before the city Planning Board about its plans, but Delaware District Common Councilmember Joel Feroleto says the department can do it without any more regulations. Costs would be minimal.

"Elmwood's a walkable neighborhood and you always see people walking around, shopping at the local  businesses, going to college," he says, "and we want to keep it safe for pedestrians and we believe these changes will make it safe, safer for people that are on Elmwood Avenue."

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.