11.20.18

SCHUMER CALLS ON USPS TO IMMEDIATELY MEET WITH TOWN OF AMHERST OFFICIALS, LOCAL STAKEHOLDERS & BUSINESSES TO ADDRESS DANGEROUS TRAFFIC CONFIGURATION AT SHERIDAN DRIVE POSTAL FACILITY IN WILLIAMSVILLE; SAYS UNSAFE PARKING LOT HAS LED TO OVER 30 ACCIDENTS & PUTS MOTORISTS AND PEDESTRIANS IN HARM’S WAY

Since 2011, When USPS Moved Local Retail Operations And Altered the Parking Lot Of The Sheridan Drive Postal Facility, There Have Been 33 Car Accidents And 11 Injuries Adjacent To The Parking Lot 

Standing At The Post Office At Sheridan And Essjay In Williamsville, Schumer Calls On USPS To Immediately Sit Down With Town Of Amherst Officials, Local Stakeholders, And Impacted Businesses To Develop A Near- And Long-Term Plan To Address Unsafe Traffic Configuration 

Schumer To USPS: It’s Time To Step Up, Be A Good Neighbor, & Take The First Steps To Remedy The Dangerous Mistake USPS Created

Standing at the United States Postal Service (USPS) Facility on Sheridan Drive in the Town of Amherst, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today called on the USPS to work with town and village officials, local stakeholders, and the other impacted businesses in the Williamsville Place Plaza to establish a solution to reconfigure, redesign, and restructure the hazardous traffic configuration at the USPS facility at the corner of Sheridan Drive and Essay Road, which has resulted in over 30 accidents since 2011. Schumer explained that since 2011, there have been dozens of accidents at and around the facility resulting from the poor design of the current configuration of traffic flow for postal customers and Amherst residents. Schumer explained that this, compounded by the high volume of both automobile and foot traffic in and around the Post Office, has led to an impractical and dangerous situation for motorists and residents of the surrounding community. Therefore, Schumer urged the USPS to rectify this situation by meeting with town and village officials, local stakeholders, residents and impacted businesses in Williamsville to establish a solution to restore both safety and peace of mind to motorists and pedestrians alike. 

“At this point, it’s glaringly evident that the Sheridan Drive Post Office traffic configuration is creating an unsafe situation for both automobiles and pedestrians. Since 2011, when the Post Office’s parking lot was altered, there have been 33 car accidents and 11 injuries in the vicinity,” said Senator Schumer. “So today I’m saying enough is enough, and calling on the USPS to work with Town of Amherst officials, local stakeholders, residents, and nearby businesses to develop a near- and long-term plan to rectify this situation. As the accident count continues to climb, Amherst residents have been patient, understanding, and accommodating enough over the past few years while waiting for these issues to improve. It’s time for USPS to step up, be a good neighbor, and take the first steps to remedy the dangerous mistake that they created.”

“I’d like to thank our Congressional Representatives for supporting changes to the Post Office facility on Sheridan Drive. This US Postal office is heavily utilized by the residents of Amherst and surrounding areas. Entering and exiting this facility puts the safety of those individuals at risk every day. The proposed changes made to the property will greatly enhance traffic flow in this very busy area, and help take another step toward creating a pedestrian-safe road,” said Town of Amherst Supervisor Brian J. Kulpa. “The Post Office on Sheridan Drive is in very close proximity to a neighborhood, busy retail centers and an office park, which creates situations that put drivers and pedestrians at risk on a daily basis. We are urging Postal Service representatives to review the potential solutions presented to them by the Town of Amherst to make this area safer for the residents of Amherst and surrounding areas.”

Schumer explained that the current traffic issues at the Post Office arose in 2011, when local retail operations moved from a nearby plaza into the existing postal distribution facility. This facility sits at the corner of Sheridan Drive, a major thoroughfare in the Buffalo-Niagara region, and Essjay Road, an equally busy business corridor. Directly across from the post office is a quiet, residential neighborhood. Residents on Dan Troy Boulevard joined the Senator to express their worry and concern over the parking situation. Previously, the only public traffic at the Sheridan Drive postal facility was for mailbox and package retrieval, which garnered significantly less foot and vehicular traffic.

Schumer said that as the USPS facility’s operations changed, so too did the traffic configuration of the Post Office’s parking lot. Two exits turned into one confusing and unsafe exit which only allows motorists to turn right onto Sheridan Drive. As a result, many drivers have taken to making illegal turns, driving over curbs, or turning down residential side streets and into driveways. Schumer said this has led to many complaints from local residents concerned about increased traffic near school bus stops, as well as property damage from wayward vehicles.

Schumer also detailed that this particular traffic configuration has yielded over thirty traffic accidents since the reconfiguration in 2011, which has resulted in 11 injuries according to the Town of Amherst. Schumer said that just last July, an accident left three people injured. Additionally, in May of this year, a car illegally turning left out of the Post Office was hit by a car coming down Sheridan Drive, which left one passenger injured. Schumer said that this dangerous situation demands action, and called on the USPS to address the dilemma immediately.

Schumer said that recently, the USPS commissioned a study that was made available to local officials that concluded the traffic configuration at the Sheridan Drive facility was not at fault for the recent traffic issues. However, Schumer maintained that he fundamentally disagreed with that assessment, given the accident data from the Town of Amherst and from the numerous complaints he has heard from officials and residents. 

Schumer said that as the accident count continues to climb, Amherst residents have been patient, understanding and accommodating enough over the past few years while waiting for these issues to be addressed. Schumer explained that now, the time has come for USPS to step up, be a good neighbor, and take the first steps to remedy the dangerous mistake they created. Schumer said that it is of the utmost importance that USPS meet with local officials, stakeholders, and other plaza tenants to develop a realistic, near- and long-term plan to remedy the glaring and hazardous issues with the Sheridan Drive Post Office traffic configuration.

A copy of Schumer’s letter to the Postmaster General appears below:

Dear Postmaster General Brennan,

I write on behalf of the residents of the Town of Amherst, New York, and surrounding communities, following the ongoing reports and dozens of accidents brought about by the hazardous traffic configuration at the United States Postal Service (USPS) facility on Sheridan Drive. According to local officials who have reached out to my office for help, since 2011, there have been dozens of accidents resulting from the poor design of the current configuration of traffic flow for postal customers and Amherst residents. This, compounded by the high volume of both automobile and foot traffic in and around that plaza, has led to an increasingly impractical and extremely dangerous situation for motorists and residents of the surrounding community. To rectify this situation, I urge the USPS to immediately sit down with town and village officials, local stakeholders, and other impacted businesses in the plaza, and work with them to establish a solution to reconfigure, this parking lot to restore both safety and peace of mind to motorists and pedestrians alike.

The current issues originated in 2011, when the retail operations for the local USPS moved from a nearby plaza into the existing postal distribution facility the corner of Sheridan Drive, a major commercial thoroughfare in the Buffalo-Niagara region, and Essjay Road, an equally busy corridor. Directly across from the post office is a quiet, residential neighborhood. Previously, the principal role of this facility was for mailbox and package retrieval, which garnered significantly less foot and vehicular traffic.

As the USPS facility’s operations changed, so too did the traffic configuration of the parking lot. Two exits turned into one very confusing exit which only allows vehicles to turn right onto Sheridan Drive. The particular configuration has resulted in dangerous conditions and over thirty traffic accidents since the 2011 reconfiguration. It is my understanding that USPS recently commissioned a public study that concluded the traffic configuration at the Sheridan Drive facility had no impact on the ensuing traffic issues. Given the accident data presented to my office, and what I have heard from numerous officials and many residents, I fundamentally disagree with that assessment. It is imperative that USPS meet with local officials, stakeholders, and other plaza tenants to develop a realistic, near and long-term plan to remedy the glaring issues with the lot configuration.  

As the accident count continues to climb, Amherst residents have been patient, understanding, and accommodating enough over the past few years while waiting for these issues to improve. It is time for USPS to step up, be a good neighbor, and take the first steps to remedy the dangerous mistake that they created. Thank you for your attention to this important issue.

Sincerely,

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