Slow down, all you drivers on Hunt Road. Just slow down for now.
With the closing of Fairmount Avenue in Lakewood for a couple of weeks to finish up work on a culvert near Hillcrest Avenue, Hunt Road is carrying much more traffic than usual from Big Tree Road and eastward toward Jamestown to Mall Boulevard.
But as predicted, a lot of local traffic is still using Winch and Shadyside to get to Hunt Road. Even without the extra traffic making it all the more difficult to pull out onto Hunt Road, both intersections are dangerous. With drivers on Hunt Road ignoring signs to slow down at the intersection with Winch, and drivers on Winch underestimating the speed of approaching cars on Hunt, collisions are not unusual there. And as we have noted in the past, drivers heading south on Shadyside cannot see traffic coming from the east on Hunt, making it an inherently dangerous intersection.
We note that Lakewood Village Board asked the state to put a traffic signal at the Shadyside intersection while Fairmount is closed, but the state said no.
Police Chief John Bentley of the Lakewood-Busti department has the best advice: People driving on Fairmount Avenue need to follow the detour as marked. If you are driving in from the west, use Big Tree Road to get to Hunt. Don't try to use Winch or Shadyside. You'll just get into trouble.
Although businesses in the area are having to put up with inconvenience caused by construction, they certainly welcome the reconstruction of the culvert that carries a creek under Fairmount Avenue. The pay back is that a long-standing flooding problem will be resolved.
The culvert work will take only two more weeks. The state is promising to have Fairmount Avenue open again by Memorial Day.
Until then, please, just slow down.