Pittsford town supervisor addresses concerns over safety on East Avenue
Posted at: 02/28/2013 5:31 PM
| Updated at: 02/28/2013 5:44 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri | WHEC.com
One month ago, a young man was hit and killed while waiting for a bus on East Avenue. Since that night, News10NBC has been hearing from homeowners concerned about safety in that area because there aren't any sidewalks. For the first time, News10NBC is hearing from the Pittsford town supervisor about her plan to fix the issue.
Vaughn Steele, 26, of Penfield, was struck and killed in January. Investigators say the driver, 30-year-old Michael Hanna, called police hours later saying he hit someone, but at the time, he thought he hit a garbage can. He's been charged with leaving the scene of a deadly crash and having an unregistered vehicle.
So is there a safety issue along that stretch of road and what does the town supervisor plan to do about it? News10NBC took homeowners' concerns to the town supervisor. She says sidewalks are needed, but they are expensive and will take time to put in.
There is a memorial on East Avenue that stands where Vaughn Steele was hit and killed by a car. After we covered the fatal accident, a lot of people who live and work on this stretch of East Avenue said the area is unsafe and needs sidewalks.
Mike Wood is the owner at the Back Nine Bar and Grill, just up the road from where Steele was killed. He says the stretch of land also concerns his customers.
Mike Wood, Back Nine Bar and Grill owner, said, “A bunch of the neighbors actually walk here and some of them won't walk anymore. They've been concerned. They’ve been here a lot longer and they've been concerned for a long time.”
We have 10 pages of viewer comments on this story, Jan writes, “It is really dangerous for runners and cyclists. There's just not enough room for vehicle traffic and pedestrians."
We also had a petition sent to us. It calls for sidewalks on East Avenue and there are already 149 signatures. We took these concerns to Pittsford Town Supervisor Sandra Zutes.
News10NBC's Amanda Ciavarri said, “What do you say to those people who are calling for a change, specifically those who are calling for a sidewalk to be added?
Sandra Zutes, Pittsford Town Supervisor, said, “Well, we've been working on sidewalks for a good long time.”
Ciavarri said, “Do you agree that this may be a dangerous road for maybe pedestrians or cyclists.”
Zutes said, “Ever road is dangerous. This was a tragic accident.”
Ciavarri said, “Would sidewalks add to the safety of it?”
Zutes said, “Sidewalks would add to the safety of any road.”
Ciavarri said, “Do you have a direct response for these people who say the road is unsafe?
Zutes said, “Do i have a direct response? We are working on sidewalks.”
Ciavarri said, “What does that exactly mean?”
Zutes said, “We've done a preliminary plan that was started last year.”
Zutes says this stretch of road is a state road. So they will have to get any project approved by the state. She says the whole project could take years.
She says while the ball is rolling to get this plan going, it will be expensive.
Zutes said, “We are talking about possible 10,000 linear feet which is a little less that two miles. I think they have that being somewhere about $620,000, for one side of the street.”
Ciavarri said, “Who pays for that?”
Zutes said, “That would be the taxpayers.”
Supervisor Zutes says the project would take anywhere from 2 to 5 years.