AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB) - We know where the popular Trader Joe's is going to open a store in Amherst. But can the congested Niagara Falls Boulevard handle even heavier traffic?
Melissa Foster fought for months to bring Trader Joe's to Kenmore but the trendy health conscious grocery chain has instead decided to open a store in the same plaza as Target and Lowe's on the boulevard.
Anyone who shops the Boulevard Consumer Square near the 290 knows what it's like getting in and out already. Now a Famous Footwear store will be moved across the parking lot so the building can be demolished and a new 12,000 square foot Trader Joe's grocery store will be built from the ground up, beginning this summer.
Consumer Tom Conboy said, "Grade school math tells me that it's going to make a tough situation tougher, but I'd rather that than a big mega store."
Amherst Town Supervisor Dr. Barry Weinstein noted, "Everyone appears to be very excited about Trader Joe's coming in so I assume it will generate a lot more traffic."
And if that's what happens, Weinstein says it's the DOT's problem because the boulevard is a state highway.
"Our role is to make sure they have enough parking," Weinstein said.
And if something needs to be done like widening or changing the turn lanes on Niagara Falls Boulevard, Weinstein noted the traffic jams will likely get worse.
"They did a renovation at Ridge Lea and Niagara Falls Boulevard," Weinstein recalled. "It backed up traffic for years."
Town officials didn't even have to approve this. Benderson Development is simply replacing one retail store with another a new one, and Trader Joe's could open by the end of summer.
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