One-Way Street Proposed to Curb Traffic on Valhalla Way
Jughandle on Hamburg Turnpike to blame for influx of vehicles.
Residents of a neighborhood may soon get some much-needed relief from unwanted traffic.
The council introduced an ordinance March 7 prohibiting vehicles from turning left onto Valhalla Way from Hamburg Turnpike. Drivers make the turn throughout the day as a way of avoiding a jughandle on Hamburg Turnpike.
Vehicles also cut through Valhalla and Surrey Drive to get to Jackson Avenue, which connects to Black Oak Ridge Road and Route 23.
The ordinance would make Valhalla Way one-way between the eastern most intersection of Valhalla and Surrey heading out to Hamburg Turnpike.
The problem stems from construction work the county performed on Hamburg Turnpike in 2011. Concrete dividers were placed in the middle of the heavily-traveled road and the jughandle was placed at the intersection of Jackson Avenue and Hamburg. They were installed to prevent people from making left-hand turns onto adjacent streets, which would slow the flow of traffic on Hamburg, a county-owned roadway.
“It’s turned a quite, residential neighborhood into a raceway,” said Councilwoman Nadine Bello, who is sponsoring the legislation. “Not only did the traffic increase, but the speed at which these vehicles travel has increased as well.”
There is a blind hill on Surrey leading up to Valhalla. Residents said that vehicles speed up the hill and do not slow down when heading onto Valhalla.
“It’s a hazard and an accident waiting to happen,” Bello said.
The intersection is located directly across from Schuyler-Colfax Middle School. Children use Valhalla Way and Surrey Drive to walk home. The streets have no sidewalks so the students have no separation from the vehicles traveling in the neighborhood.
“Vehicles travel 40 miles an hour up that hill and kids are constantly walking on these streets,” said Chris Cannizzaro, a Surrey Avenue resident. “They don’t even use their brakes.”
Cannizzaro said that while the legislation is a good start in alleviating how hazardous traffic has become in the area, it will not solve the problem entirely.
Bello said at the March 7 council meeting that she asked the county if it would allow vehicles to make a left-hand turn onto Squad Place, which is located just south of Valhalla, and is a much-less traveled roadway than Valhalla is. Bello said county officials said no to her request.
The council is scheduled to vote on approving the ordinance at its next meeting on March 21.