Potential Chick-Fil-A traffic worrying Henrietta fire chief, town leaders

(WHAM photo)

Henrietta, N.Y. (13WHAM) - Long lines stretching into streets and gridlocked traffic followed the opening of the Chick-Fil-A location in Greece this past spring.

Those concerns, now on the minds of town leaders in Henrietta, who say they need developers to work on relieving a potential traffic strain before the project is OK'd.

Developers are now eyeing the former Joe's Crab Shack location on Jefferson road for a restaurant.

"I was by there (Greece location) once, and it was a like a mile-long line and they were parking in the mall," said Bill Connors, who works in Henrietta.

Even weeks after the restaurant opened, traffic problems persisted, upsetting local businesses and nearby residents.

Others think the spot likely being chosen for a Henrietta location say it can work.

"That’d be a perfect spot,"said Ryan Vickers, who lives in Henrietta. "That area has been booming in the last 5-10 years."

But others, including Henrietta Fire Chief Mark Strzyzysnki, are concerned.

"As the cars stack, if we get a fire or a medical call within that plaza, we’re not going to get our vehicles even near it," he told the town planning board Tuesday.

He and other town officials say the developers need to work to keep traffic flowing at all times, especially when the restaurant opens. That's typically a time when the restaurants become filled with customers waiting for their food.

"Once people are in lines, they’re not going to move," Strzyzysnki said. "They’re not going to move for firetrucks, they’re not going to move for ambulances."

He mentioned people would likely move for law enforcement, which he and other town leaders say would need to be helping to facilitate traffic as the restaurant opens.

Developers said their plans will help keep traffic flowing. That includes having two drive thru lanes, and employees in the wait lines helping move along food orders.

Town Supervisor Stephen Schultz tells 13WHAM if developers can alleviate concerns over traffic, the town will OK the project.

He says he wants a condition in the permit that would give the town the power to close the restaurant if traffic piling up onto to Jefferson Road becomes and ongoing issue.

Among the other concerns from the town includes the number of parking spots currently proposed, which Schultz says needs to be reduced from 63 spots in the proposal to 49 spots.

Next, developers will file a formal site plan, and schedule a special use permit hearing which would include a public hearing on the project.

Schultz says the town is collecting feedback from residents, which will be attached to the permit application.

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