The Amherst Town Board on Wednesday approved a project charter to improve pedestrian safety on Niagara Falls Boulevard.
The $500,000 initiative includes changing speed limits in the area, installing larger medians and allowing pedestrians more time to cross.
This comes just days after a driver fatally hit 41-year-old Jennifer Duffin as she was crossing the boulevard.
Officials say she's the sixth pedestrian to be killed in the area over the last five years.
Ultimately, Niagara Falls Boulevard is a state road, and while Amherst and Tonawanda are taking the lead to improve pedestrian safety on the busy thorougfare, the state Department of Transportation will need to support and fund some work.
"Over the past couple of days I've has the opportunity to speak with all of the local sort of delegation regarding this project and Senators Rasenhoffer and Jacobs who share the district, Assemblymen Schiminger and Ray Walter who share the district told us that they support our efforts and acknowledge that the type of work we're talking about is something that everybody is interested in seeing. Obviously we need to address the safety issues there," said Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa.
In a statement released Wednesday, the DOT says "We were deeply saddened to learn of the accident on Niagara Falls Boulevard on Saturday. Safety is our top priority and we are actively looking for ways to enhance safety for pedestrians and motorists alike. To that end, DOT has already hired a consultant who will begin a comprehensive study of Niagara Falls Boulevard shortly with the goal of taking a systemic approach to proactively examining potential safety issues along the corridor. DOT is also working closely with the Town of Tonawanda and the Town of Amherst to identify potential solutions to the pedestrian issues on Niagara Falls Boulevard."
Kulpa says there is still about 12 to 13 months of work left to be done on the charter project
Amherst leaders say they're also moving forward with work to update lighting along in the boulevard, a project scheduled to happen in July.