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The Sun letter to the editor: Where is the credibility and objectivity?

Editor:
The Sherwood Meadows apartment complex, proposed by DATO Development LLC, with one means of ingress and egress via Heatherwood Drive in Roundtree Village, remains under review by the town of Hamburg’s Planning Board.

The initial traffic impact study, by its very design and purpose, did not address quality of life issues pertaining to traffic. Instead, it focused solely on the residential road system’s ability to accommodate the 200 or more vehicles’ entering and leaving the proposed apartment complex.

Residents voiced concerns about the objectivity of the study, because it was conducted by Nussbaumer & Clarke Inc., the engineering firm DATO regularly retains for various projects. Residents also objected to the fact that none of the intersections in the heart of Roundtree Village were analyzed.

The process took an encouraging turn when the planning board, on Sept. 4, expressed serious concerns about the impact increased traffic would have on quality of life. The planning board took initial steps to begin a positive declaration on the project, which would require DATO to conduct a full environmental impact study.

DATO, wanting to avoid this additional evaluation, asked if it could have a supplemental traffic impact study conducted, to analyze additional intersections closer to the entrance of Sherwood Meadows. The planning board agreed.

The supplemental TIS was completed and the results are on the town’s website. To no one’s surprise, Nussbaumer concluded, based on both studies they conducted for DATO, that the project will not have any potentially significant traffic impacts on the local roadways in the study area.

Nussbaumer’s conclusions (based on considerable number crunching) notwithstanding, common sense tells us that 200 or more extra cars’ traveling the residential streets of Roundtree Village every day will impact traffic and quality of life.

By the way, in its supplemental TIS, Nussbaumer observed that the intersection of Drayton Parkway and Heatherwood Drive is controlled by a stop sign on the northern approach of Drayton to Heatherwood Drive. Wrong. There is no stop sign at that intersection. Where’s the credibility?

As to the study’s objectivity, would an objective report come out and say that potential traffic impacts on the local roadway system (resulting from the proposed apartments) do not warrant the issuance of a positive declaration and preparation of an environmental impact statement? No.

DATO might argue that position, based on the supplemental TIS, but it seems rather odd that Nussbaumer would put in its two cents’ worth on what warrants and what does not warrant a positive declaration.

The developer pays the engineer to conduct a traffic study and this is the result, a totally biased study. The planning board has all of the facts and the supplemental TIS did nothing to allay the traffic concerns previously expressed by the planning board. Issuing a positive declaration just makes sense.

Charles Cox
Hamburg
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