By Krystle S. Morey

Cumberland Farms began work last week to help manage the flow of traffic traveling in and out of its Quaker Street convenience store’s lot.
The store’s parking lot has been a safety concern for vehicles and pedestrians, and Granville Police Chief Ernie Bassett said he’s pleased with the improvements being made.
“Anything that’s good for public safety and making the area more safe for pedestrians and vehicle traffic is a positive,” he said.
The store is one of the few places in the village to get gasoline, soda, coffee and snacks all in one location, and as a result, several accidents have occurred out front and in the parking lot.
Village officials contacted Cumberland Farms last year to request it modify the existing parking lot.
“It’s to delineate the entrances and exits going into the property,” Jim Scholes, construction project manager, said of the project. Scholes, who works in Cumberland Farms’ Massachusetts corporate office, is overseeing the project with help from Emco Construction, an Albany-based contractor. He plans to visit the Granville site this week.
Cumberland Farms customers will see two separate islands with sidewalks, creating designated avenues for in- and out-going traffic.
The first island, which was installed last week, runs parallel to Quaker Street and the storefront.
“There is a little green space going in … it’ll be sidewalk, green space, curb,” Scholes said, describing the design from the gas pumps out to the road.
The five-foot-wide sidewalk is handicap-accessible with ramps.
“That’s definitely going to keep people away from the roadway, so there shouldn’t be as many issues with vehicles leaving or pulling in … it should alleviate most of that, I would guess,” Bassett said.
“That sidewalk there definitely is a positive too,” he added.
A second island was installed beneath the store’s sign, separating the Cumberland Farms and What’s Up Dawg’s parking lots.
“There will be a DOT sidewalk there that’s maybe 10 feet long, with the handicap-accessible, ADA-compliant ramps,” Scholes said. He said that island was designed to be easily added onto, extending the sidewalk in either direction.
Because the curbing, sidewalk and green space are close to the road, Cumberland Farms had to gain approval from the State Department of Transportation.
“That’s all DOT-approved curb because it’s in their right of way,” Scholes said.
Over the years, there have been a number of vehicle and pedestrian accidents in the notoriously congested area on Quaker Street, near Big Lots and Cumberland Farms – and now Dunkin’ Donuts.
“At one time, this was one of the biggest areas of concern for motor vehicle accidents that we address,” Bassett said.
Bassett said visibility is a big concern that looks like it will be addressed by Cumberland Farms’ parking upgrades.
“Cars would park out along the roadway, in the parking lot, and anybody that would be pulling out of Cumberland Farms’ parking lot, out onto the roadway, would have to inch out to try to see around the cars that were parked there,” Basset said.
“We had several motor vehicle accidents because of that,” he added.
“The whole point of this exercise was to … stop people from using it as a turnaround point,” Scholes said. “I guess traffic was moving pretty quickly out in front of the store there and this, we’re told, will help.”
Cumberland Farms has worked closely with local officials over the last six months to develop a plan.
“We like to have the locals aware of what we are doing in case they have any questions,” he said.
The company met with village, department of public works and department of transportation officials April 27 to discuss final details of the project. Work began last Tuesday, May 2.
“By the end of next week, we should be done,” Scholes said. “That’s the goal … weather permitting.”
Cumberland Farms has upgraded many of its stores in the region to include ready-to-serve hot foods and a more modern design scheme. Though this project deals with the lot outside of the store, Scholes said Granvillians can look forward to upgrades to the interior of the store in the future.
“Oh, yeah,” he said, “they are in the works.”

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