Over the past few months, Gates Circle at the intersection of Delaware and Lafayette Avenues has seen three vehicle accidents. The result has been a flipped car, a critical injury, and the closing of the roundabout to clear wreckage. Buffalo’s Commissioner of Public Works, Steven Stepniak, said the city is aware of the problem and has already taken steps to correct it.
“What we’ve been doing over the last few months is we’ve been working with a consultant to do some modifications. Those modifications include some enhanced striping, some signal timing – because a majority of these accidents are occurring later in the evening and the middle of the night. So we’re doing some things to modify the speed, and we believe that it’s some speed orientation that’s causing some issues out there,” said Stepniak.
A final design for the modifications has been chosen and the project is now out for bidding. When asked about a timeline for completion, Stepniak said the work will be “before the snow flies.”
These are not the first changes to Gates Circle when it comes to traffic. Over the past few years, strobe lights were installed in the traffic signals, and chevrons were installed to indicate a sharp curve. Stepniak said the new measures are meant to be “traffic calming.” It addresses an issue he said is taking place across the city.
At Gates Circle in the Delaware District, traffic calming isn’t the only concern, though.
“We’re looking for a long term solution,” said Stepniak. “It’s a historic circle. We want to preserve that historic circle. But we’re going to come up with some stuff down the road that’s going to keep the integrity of the circle, but also make it where we don’t have these problems in the evening.”