Assemblymember Wallace, Speaker Heastie, Supervisor Benczkowski Announce Funding for New Emergency Traffic Signal Systems for South Line Fire Department

Today, Assemblymember Monica Wallace was joined by Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie to announce that she has secured $150,000 in state funding for emergency traffic signal systems at the Boxwood Lane and French Road locations of the South Line Volunteer Fire Department. Once operational, the new system will support South Line’s high standard of response time to emergency calls by providing emergency vehicles with an unobstructed path out of their garages. Along with the state funding secured by Wallace, Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski announced that the Town of Cheektowaga has approved $133,300 for preliminary engineering and construction costs.

“When an emergency call comes in, every moment is critical,” said Assemblymember Monica Wallace. “Whether it’s a car accident, structure fire, or a medical emergency, our volunteer firefighters can’t afford to wait for traffic to clear to leave their station. The men and women of South Line need our community’s cooperation to ensure that they can perform their duty without unnecessary hindrance, which is why I’m pleased to have worked with Supervisor Benczkowski and Chief Dayton to provide funding for this project.”

“With five lanes of traffic and new commercial development, traffic safety along the French Road corridor is a major concern,” said Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski.  “Cheektowaga maintains all traffic signals along Town and County roadways, including five traffic signals along French Road that the Town has identified in need of an upgrade or replacement in order to make the roadway safer for all who drive this stretch.  Thanks to Assemblymember Monica Wallace, the Town applied for and was awarded a grant to assist us in replacing two signals in front of the South Line Fire District’s main station, as well as their substation at Boxwood Lane.  Emergency responders will have greater control over the signal allowing them to activate it when responding to calls and helping them reach people in need more quickly and safely.  This grant also alleviates the financial burden of replacing these traffic signals on those living in the South Line Fire District and all of Cheektowaga, and reconfirms my commitment to aggressively pursuing all available grant funding for our Town.” 

“Time of arrival to emergency incidents is one of the most crucial aspects to a successful outcome,” said South Line Chief Andrew Dayton. “Therefore, the safe arrival of firefighters is absolutely critical to that. These modern traffic signals are a factor in providing the rapid and safe response of our firefighters to these incidents and providing additional safety to motorists.”

The existing traffic signals located near the South Line fire houses along French Road are now past their expected service life. Currently, the lights flash yellow to alert travelers to exercise caution, but the fire houses do not have control over the signals. The new system will allow South Line firefighters to trigger the light, turning it red and ensuring that motorists are stopped in preparation for emergency vehicles exiting their garages.

The proposal for an engineering study was recently approved by the Cheektowaga Town Board. Once the report is finalized, the town will move forward with the installation of the new systems. South Line’s primary response range is approximately 3.5 square miles. The range borders are the West Seneca Town Line to the South, Transit Road to the East, Union Road to the West, and Losson Road to the North.