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Weekly poll question: The future of traffic on the Bolivar road in Wellsville


Traffic patterns continue to become more confusing as more development looms

By Andrew Harris

Not since the creation of the Riverwalk Plaza in the early 1990’s has Wellsville had to deal with traffic congestion on the Bolivar Road, or anywhere for that matter. After decades of decreasing traffic volume the question seems almost paradoxical but, “What should Wellsville do about the emerging traffic patterns on the Bolivar Road/Rt. 417?”

Today our managing editor and social media overlord John Anderson nearly totaled his second car in a week pulling out of the new “drive-thru” Walgreens. This time is wasn’t a monsterous buck but a flurry of vehicles that all pulled out on the Bolivar Road at the same time:

“I tried to pull out of Walgreens. Another car tried to pull out the future Quicklees, and the cars coming out of McDonald’s … we all almost collided.”

On the map below, traffic has always been an issue for nearby residents. Between fast food, the “Tractor Supply Plaza,” LC Whitford industrial traffic, and those vehicles just passing through on Rt. 417, this is a busy stretch. Much of that traffic has been going to and fro businesses on the north side of 417 like the Village of Wellsville facilities, two nursing homes, Tractor Supply, Auto Zone, and McDonald’s.

Now, with a Walgreens up and a successful manufactuar on the south side of 417, new traffic patterns are emerging. Every indication is that a Quicklee’s/Tim Horton’s combination convienence store(that includes a drive thru window,) will be built on the south side of 417 in 2023. If anyone has a doubt about the impact of traffic by a Tim Horton’s they should visit or drive by the Dunkin Donuts in Wellsville any morning. Having all the things that Americans love best; drugs, coffee, and baked goods located with two hundred feet is going to be a big hit!

A quick talk with Wellsville town councilman Mike Miller who has been in contact with the NYS Department of Transportation(NYSDOT,) reports that traffic studies have been completed and submitted for approval by the NYSDOT for the Quicklee’s/Tim Horton store. That approval is required by the all important State Environmental Quality Review(SEQR.) Miller said the town expects the approval without the NYSDOT requiring any major changes.

The Town of Wellsville has not made any requests for a new traffic signal in light of the new development after coming to an agreement with area residents. The most logical place to install a new traffic light would be at the Florida Avenue intersection. That plan has been put on ice after all parties finished brainstorming the possible new traffic patterns that the light would create.

This small stretch of road is very important to our economy. From Community Bank to Burger King, thousands of vehicles per day indicate millions of dollars per week. Considering the incoming Runnings Store in the Riverwalk plaza with the already busy Tops Market and those rough estimates could be much higher.

A traffic nightmare could marginalize the success of these new operations. We all know how to avoid potential traffic headaches thanks to smartphones.

This poll asks what you think about it, but before you vote consider this possible, slightly radical option: A giant roundabout that provides ingress/egress service to all logical points between Highland Avenue and Florida Avenue. A rough idea of where that roundabout could go.

Cast your vote, tell a friend about our poll question, and thank you to Hart’s Jewelry for sponsoring this weekly feature!!

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