TOWN OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) – Tonawanda officials hope taking a few steps from Harrison Avenue will result in one giant leap for accessibility.

On Monday, the town plans to demolish sidewalk stairs at the corner of Harrison and Parker Boulevard. They will be replaced by a sloped sidewalk.

In total, seven steps will be removed in the project: Four on the north side of the intersection and three from the south side. But the impact of the change can be seen from just a quick Google search: The Google street view look at the intersection captured a moment in June when a couple pushing a stroller was forced to walk in the roadway while a car turned onto the street.

“These steps represent a barrier to accessibility in the town and we are excited to be an example of how town-owned right-of-ways can be managed in a way to accommodate users of all modes and abilities for transportation,” Deputy Town Supervisor Shannon Patch, chairwoman of the town’s Committee on Universal Accessibility, said in a press release.

The intersection of Harrison and Parker in Tonawanda features stairs that can force pedestrians into the road (via Google Maps)

The intersection is also set to be transformed from a two-way stop into a mini roundabout in part of the town project to improve pedestrian safety, calm traffic and mitigate congestion in the neighborhood near Benjamin Franklin Middle School, Adams Field and Lincoln Park.

The town is constructing roundabouts at three locations along Parker: One at Englewood Avenue, one at Decatur Road, and one at Harrison.

“The whole goal of the project from day one has been to make Parker Boulevard a safer road for all modes of transportation just not vehicles but also for bikes, for pedestrians walking,” Tonawanda Supervisor Joe Emminger told us in August.

Tonawanda’s plan for adding mini roundabouts along Parker Blvd.

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Nick Veronica is a Buffalo native who joined the News 4 team as a Digital Executive Producer in 2021. He previously worked at NBC Sports and The Buffalo News. You can follow Nick on Facebook and Twitter and find more of his work here.