Top crash sites in area named
Wheatley Road from Interstate
77 to Brecksville Road in the Village of Richfield was
noted for its high crash rate in the Akron Metropolitan
Area Transportation Study (AMATS) crash report recently
issued. Photo: Ken Crisafi
By Kathleen Folkerth
GREATER AKRON — State Route 18 and Cleveland-Massillon Road are among the roadways with the highest rates of traffic accidents in the area, according to a three-year study of traffic crashes in the area.
The study, featuring data from 2002-2004, was released this month by the Akron Metropolitan Area Transportation Study (AMATS) and includes data for Summit and Portage counties, along with Chippewa Township in Wayne County.
The study is actually the combination of three studies undertaken by AMATS over the past few years, said Victor Botosan, the organization’s transportation improvement program coordinator.
“Nothing this complete
has ever been put together,” Botosan said. “We
wanted to give communities a chance to have something
like this to address high
The information can be used by
communities to apply for state funds for safety improvements
at these locations, Botosan added.
To compare high-crash intersections,
the agency used crash rates, which are calculated by
dividing the total number of crashes at a location by
the traffic volume there. The seriousness of the crashes
also was given consideration and made up the severity
index. Locations were included in the list of 100 if
their crash rate was greater than two or there were
more than 10 crashes in a three-year period.
The locations were then ranked
by the number of crashes, crash rate and severity index.
A composite score was calculated from the rankings,
and each location was given a score based on its ranking.
For arterial sections, AMATS
calculated that the crash
rate is the crash total divided by the section’s
traffic volume multiplied by the section’s length.
Locally, most of the intersections
and arterials that made the lists aren’t surprising.
Areas along Route 18, as it cuts through the western
half of Summit County, appeared throughout the rankings.
Part of Route 18, or Medina Road,
from Interstate 77 to Cleveland-Massillon Road was ranked
14th on the list of 135 regional high-crash arterial
sections. Medina Road from South Hametown Road to I-77
Ranked 18th on the same list
is Route 18, or West Market Street, from Ghent Road
to Miller Road. Ranked 66th is West Market Street from
Cleveland-Massillon Road to Ghent Road.
Merriman Road/Riverview Road
from North Portage Path to Smith Road was ranked 67th.
Springside Drive from Medina Road to Cleveland-
Massillon Road was listed at 90th,
tied with West Market Street from Sand Run Road to Hawkins
On a ranking of high crash intersections,
the Montrose area didn’t appear until 75th, with
the intersection of Brookwall Drive and Flight Memorial
Drive. That intersection is within the Market Square
at Montrose shopping plaza, near J.C. Penney and Levin
Other local sites on that list
include Vernon Odom Boulevard at Collier Road, ranked
at 72nd, state Route 303 (East Streetsboro Road) at
Akron-Cleveland Road, ranked 86th, and Granger Road
at North Hametown Road, ranked 87th.
Botosan said AMATS suggests that
engineering studies be done of the roadways on the list.
“We don’t point out
solutions, but we suggest [communities get an] engineering
study done for each of those locations,”
Botosan said. “They can apply
for funds to fund the study, and when it’s done
they apply to the state for federal funds to fix the
He said that driver behavior
is another issue.
“There’s only so
much you can do to a roadway and only so much engineers
can design,” Botosan said. “People in general
are driving more reckless.”
In the West Side Leader coverage
area, other noted problems in the AMATS study were:
In Norton, two high-crash
intersections involved South Cleveland-Massillon Road.
One is the intersection at Greenwich Road/Norton Road
and the other is Eastern Road. South Cleveland-Massillon
also was included on the list of high-crash arterials
at the areas from Barberton’s northern city limits
to Greenwich Road/Norton Road, and from that intersection
to Interstate 76.
In Richfield, Wheatley
Road from the I-77 centerline
to Brecksville Road was ranked 127th on the list of
In Fairlawn, South Miller
Road at Chamberlain Road was the highest-ranking intersection
In Boston Heights, East
Boston Mills Road from Olde Eight Road to the Hudson
western city limits was included on the list of high
In Peninsula, state Route
303 from Riverview Road to Akron-Peninsula Road, and
from the Peninsula western city limits to Riverview
Road, were ranked on the list of high-crash arterials.
The study can be downloaded at
the Web site www.ci.akron.oh.us/AMATS/. A
copy can also be requested by calling (330) 375-2275.