Only in North Tonawanda: Tale of two ends of Northeast Ave.

Oliver Street actually doesn’t look bad if it weren’t for trash, litter and too conspicuous and generally always overflowing garbage totes at some rental properties.

The few facades between Schenck and Wheatfield that got attention with the grant program do look “nice” on the outside.

Oliver still looks like the Oliver of old.  It just doesn’t have small business owners residing in their buildings with their families. That is what made it what most of us remember it as.

Also gone are Buffalo Bolt, Auto Wheel Coaster, Bennett Lumber, the Main Street, River Road and Tonawanda Island industries and their combined thousands of employees to patronize the bars, restaurants, diners, small shops and service businesses on Oliver.

Privately owned resident-occupied homes and buildings converted from storefronts to residences look fine on the outside and are generally taken care of inside and out. Oliver isn’t going to look like Wurlitzer Park neighborhoods. Those from the west end of NT wouldn’t want them to! It’s not Wurlitzer Park. It’s Oliver Street, with all the character and charm of its history and current residents.

From the Town of Wheatfield border where it’s Ward Road to Walck Road/9th Avenue, it’s pretty well maintained, with just an occasional rental property like 970 Oliver spoiling the view. Except for the section with a number of properties owned by the planning board member who got most of the grant funding for façade renovations, some ignored sections, like from http://southbuffalonews.comst to 9th Avenues and from Mechanic to Schenck, could use some of those grants.

A few places seriously in need of attention include the old Hungarian Orthodox Church at First Avenue, the old Mirror Room at 728, the Rainbow Sports building, the house at 34 that had a bad fire and is still boarded up, the Bestaste Mini Market at 653 Oliver. There are more than a dozen vacant storefronts that could use business occupants. The block on the east side of Oliver between Walck and 8th is sitting vacant, waiting for a business to replace Twin-Ton Auto Sales before it deteriorates.

NT has known for at least most of the last decade that non-resident property owners with drug-addicted and alcoholic tenants with no respect for their neighbors are a serious problem.  Perhaps in 20http://southbuffalonews.com6, they can make a plan to remediate that problem.

Mayor Pappas re-appointed Joseph Sikora, Robert Frank, Anthony DiBernardo, Mark Anastasi, Mark Lemke, Edward Smolinski, and Arthur Vater to the Traffic Safety Committee for a two-year term beginning January  They have all been on that committee for the last two years at least. There is also a DPW Advisor on the committee.

The Committee should tour both legs of Northeast Avenue. None of them live there.

The north leg, from where Carr Street joins http://southbuffalonews.com9th Avenue, has six apartment buildings and three single family homes. On http://southbuffalonews.com9th between Carr and Payne, there are four apartment buildings and three private residences, the Gibbons Court apartment complex with two entrance drives, and two entrance drives into  Bishop Gibbons Apartments, which fronts on Payne. Most access is from http://southbuffalonews.com9th. There’s also the busy Walgreens’ parking lot entrance/exit on http://southbuffalonews.com9th.

There’s NO stop sign for those exiting the south leg of Northeast onto either http://southbuffalonews.com9th or Carr. There’s NO stop sign for traffic going west on http://southbuffalonews.com9th into the south leg of Northeast nor for those turning left onto Carr.

Fortunately, there is a stop sign at the http://southbuffalonews.com9th/Northeast end of Carr.

The south leg of Northeast is actually a street that begins at http://southbuffalonews.com7th Avenue in the middle of the block and runs in a semi-circle over to Gilmore Avenue. Cut off from the other end of Northeast by a large stretch of vacant lots for whatever reason, this park-like south leg has houses on each corner of http://southbuffalonews.com7th, one house on the west side, several vacant lots reputedly owned by the homeowner of the first house, two more houses, five garages from homes on http://southbuffalonews.com7th, and an apartment building. They have a stop sign at both the exit onto http://southbuffalonews.com7th  where it is still Northeast and on the Gilmore end where it also joins http://southbuffalonews.com7th.

If the south leg has two stop signs for that small number of occupants and vehicles, why can’t the Committee figure out  there are hundreds of seniors, youngsters, dogs, motorcycles, cars, trucks, occasional RVs and boats, and the vehicles coming and going from the Walgreens parking lot, on that north leg of Northeast?

The corner of Northeast where it runs into http://southbuffalonews.com9th should have a stop sign  for vehicles heading west onto Northeast and one on Northeast heading east onto http://southbuffalonews.com9th at Carr.


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