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ODOT officials address proposed roundabout, Medina Road accidents

11/7/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Scott Kriska

GRANGER — The Granger Board of Trustees called in two local representatives from the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) District 3 office to speak at a special meeting Oct. 31.

They addressed two concerns — the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Ridge and Granger Roads, and the amount of traffic accidents on Medina Road.

ODOT District 3 Traffic Planning Engineer Julie Cichello said she received and responded to more than 20 comments from township residents regarding the roundabout and said she has received more favorable responses to the proposal than nonfavorable responses. She said ODOT will move forward and proceed with the design plans for the roundabout.

The trustees had some questions to ask the ODOT representatives about the proposed addition to the intersection.

Trustee Richard Pace asked if a roundabout would be more expensive than adding a traffic light to the intersection.

Trustee Teri Berry spoke from a financial perspective, stating she has been hearing a lot of negative comments from residents on this project in relation to funding.

Cichello responded the roundabout has the biggest safety benefit, citing studies taken following the construction of a roundabout in the city of Dublin. She also added this roundabout will help reduce the amount of serious or fatal traffic accidents. Cichello said completion of the roundabout is scheduled for 2016, and construction will take place during the summer of that year so as to not interfere with school traffic.

Another issue the ODOT representatives addressed at the meeting was the number of car accidents on Medina Road in the Granger Township area. Cichello reported there have been seven fatal crashes on the road since a fifth lane was added. She said many of these accidents were cross-median crashes, and there has also been a great number of single-vehicle crashes.

She said what ODOT hopes to do is improve pavement rutting near intersections and put a concrete barrier down the median to prevent future cross-median crashes, thus bringing the road back to four lanes.

Cichello also said ODOT plans to collect speed data on Medina Road and look at other accident factors, such as fatigue, alcohol, drugs and inclement weather.

She noted the motorists who use Medina Road usually travel at a high rate of speed, and ODOT has notified the Ohio State Highway Patrol about enforcement.

Cichello said she hopes to apply for these changes to be made by April of next year, but it more than likely will not be done until after the roundabout project is completed due to funding concerns.

ODOT District 3 Deputy Director Allen Biehl responded to a question about construction detours in the county this past summer. He said ODOT is talking with the cities of Medina, Wadsworth and Brunswick to schedule construction so as to avoid last summer’s problems. In regards to the detours that will be used during roundabout construction, Biehl said all roads used for detours will be restored to their previous or better condition when construction is finalized.

Residents attending the meeting had several questions and concerns to address.

Winterberry Lane resident Brooks Rorapaugh said he believes one possible factor in some of the accidents on Medina Road is the drainage along that road between Ridge Road and Medina Line roads. He said that combined with excessive speeds could cause vehicles to hydroplane.

Rorapaugh also addressed a concern he has regarding visibility while approaching the Ridge and Granger roads intersection.

Cichello said the roundabout will serve as an opportunity to turn whatever is done into an environmental and ecological asset.

Ridge Road resident Ken Moehring also inquired about a possible change in the speed limit on Ridge Road as a result of the roundabout, to which Cichello replied a speed zone study of Ridge Road from Medina Road to Hinckley is already being done, and changing the speed limit is a possibility.

A third resident asked Cichello what justifies the need for a traffic light at an intersection, to which she replied a national standard is used based on the amount of traffic.

The next Granger Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Nov. 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Granger Township Administration Building, located at 3717 Ridge Road.

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