AMHERST, N.Y. (WIVB)–Amherst Town Supervisor Brian Kulpa laid out his vision for Upstate New York’s largest suburb in his annual “State of the Town” address Friday.
Kulpa announced several initiatives he wants to accomplish in 2020 and beyond, including plans for improving the environment, quality of life, and tying much of the town’s economic development to high tech traffic control.
The supervisor revealed the town’s investment in a radical new technology called Miovision, which uses adaptive artificial intelligence through cameras at intersections to monitor traffic flow by controlling the timing of stoplights.
Kulpa revealed town officials are experimenting with Miovision at Flint Road entrance to the University at Buffalo. The technology was developed by Miovision Technologies, Inc. of Kitchener, Ontario, and eventually Kulpa plans to install it at all 65 of the town’s intersections.
“Getting to smart grids and building technology integrations with our signals,” said Kulpa, “we are stepping out of the 60’s and 70’s into the 2020’s. That is huge.”
The Amherst Chamber of Commerce hosted the State of the Town address, and chamber President A.J. Baynes said improving traffic flow is important to the town’s economic development.
“So many times, you would get off the I-290 on Main Street, head into the village, and you would be sitting on the on ramp for 10 minutes and watch the light turn three or four times, and nobody went anywhere.”
At the corner of Niagara Falls Boulevard and Kenmore Avenue, work is already underway on the town’s new Gateway park.
The former gas station has been a vacant lot for more than 20 years, and the town is buying the parcel from United Refining of Warren, Pennsylvania, through the process of eminent domain.
Kulpa also said he is very satisfied with the lighting improvements along the Niagara Falls Blvd.’s commercial strip, where there have been more 300 accidents in the last 6 years, but the supervisor said more work has to be done.
“We need to make it a safer environment for our residents, for motorists, four our businesses. We need more intersections with signals to break up that flow of traffic. We are going to get there over time.”
Kulpa also he is satisfied with the progress of Station Twelve, formerly the Northtown Plaza, which is set to open next year.
The supervisor also revealed plans for a Roswell Park satellite office in Amherst, development of hydropower from Ellicott and Tonawanda creeks, and the town’s first privately operated solar farm.