BATAVIA — With Benderson Development Co., LLC building planning two commercial buildings in the parking lot of the vacant Kmart at Lewiston and Park roads, a property owner this week again asked town officials to do what they could to make the area near it safe.
A representative of Benderson, the property owner, said in September that a Jersey Mike’s sub shop and Tropical Smoothie Cafe will both be in the larger building to be put up in the lot, along with Starbucks (Coffee) and one other tenant. There will be a second building built for commercial use as well.
At Wednesday night’s Town Board meeting, Jerry Arena, owner of Jerry Arena’s Pizzeria at 8360 Lewiston Rd., spoke about his concerns about the parking lot and the areas near it that don’t have sidewalks. Arena said we don’t know what’s going to happen with the vacant Kmart building.
“It’s just going to be a mess, in my opinion,” he said. “You start putting stuff in parking lots, you’re asking for trouble down the road.”
Arena asked the town to look into having “dueling” traffic light turn arrows in front of his pizza shop.
“We talked about it a few times. You can’t cross the three lanes (to get to the shop when driving north on Lewiston Road),” he said.
Deputy Town Supervisor Dan Underhill said there will be a traffic study after Park Road gets going again after the roadwork there is done. He said Town Engineer Steve Mountain will be working on that.
“You’re not going unheard here tonight, Jerry,” Underhill said.
Arena said, “I’ve got to have an entrance. When you have those businesses in the parking lot, so close to the dueling arrows, it’s going to be a little stressful.”
His last thought, Arena said, was what will we do now that the project to add businesses to the Kmart parking lot is moving forward? He said he’s seen parents pushing babies while walking along in the street in that area in the summer. There are handicapped people riding vehicles along the road.
“Let’s make it safe. I’m asking you people, if you’re able, to work on that last question I have —if there’s anything you can do to address those issues,” Arena said.
“Are you going to be able to do anything with the streetlights and the sidewalks, and the bike lanes, and the handicapped accessibility?” he asked.
On Thursday, Underhill said the town is looking into creating an agreement with Benderson Development for sidewalks along Lewiston Avenue by the Kmart property.
”We’re looking into some of the safety concerns. We’re working on a plan … with the developer, to probably come up with a project for the future to make sidewalks along that route,” Underhill said, adding this would be work Benderson would help to pay for.
“We’re in the process of doing that with the developer, so it would help pay for that. They’re going to have to sign an agreement for future development of the site. We have sidewalks going from Park Road to 63 (Lewiston Road),” he said.
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