Transportation department begins to address Route 224 traffic issues
A Web site has been established to keep the public updated on study progress.
By DENISE DICK
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- By early next year, officials engaged in a study of the U.S. Route 224 corridor expect to identify broad alternatives to begin developing solutions.
The Ohio Department of Transportation began a study in November aimed at addressing the virtual gridlock that often plagues the busy thoroughfare.
The study area focuses on the six-mile stretch between Interstate 680 and state Route 11. The study is funded with $500,000 from ODOT and another $500,000 from Eastgate Regional Council of Governments. URS Consultants of Akron is conducting the study.
Judy Bennett of URS said that a Web site, www.mah224.com, has been established to update the public on the study's progress.
She explained the study's next steps involve development of broad ideas for improvements to Route 224's problems. Identification of a detailed plan to address those problems will come much later.
The cost of construction depends on the solution developed.
The conceptual alternatives expected to be developed by early 2006 take into account the data collected and its analysis and the study's goals and objectives.
Study's ultimate goals
Goals include reducing congestion, improving safety, preserving the corridor's economic viability, reducing vehicle use within the corridor, educating drivers and making the corridor environmentally friendly.
The goals and objectives are based on meetings with the public, officials in both Canfield and Boardman and with stakeholders such as business owners and residents.
Data collected along the road found 1,900 crashes in that six-mile stretch in a three-year period, most of which were rear-end crashes. That same data also gave nine intersections along the corridor at or near a failing grade.
Bennett said the grades are based on information like the average seconds of delay, the amount of traffic, the number of lanes and left- and right-lane turn restrictions.
Intersections that received a D grade or lower were Fairground Boulevard, Raccoon Road, Tippecanoe Road, Glenwood Avenue, Market Street, Southern Boulevard, Eisenhower Drive, South Avenue and Tiffany Boulevard.