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Residents’ concerns could snarl Boardman roundabout proposal



Published: Thu, February 17, 2011 @ 12:00 a.m.

By Ashley Luthern

aluthern@vindy.com

BOARDMAN

Some residents oppose a proposed roundabout at a busy township intersection.

The idea for a roundabout at Mathews and Sheridan roads first was raised in 2008.

Township Administrator Jason Loree and road superintendent Larry Wilson both said they have received calls from residents who oppose a roundabout replacing the traffic light at the intersection, which is maintained by Mahoning County.

“We’ve had a lot of complaints that they do not want a roundabout. We’ve told them the county will have a public forum and they should attend those,” Loree said.

Rob Donham, Mahoning County professional traffic engineer, said the county engineer’s office will have two or three public meetings for residents to voice concerns, but he has not received any complaints. Dates for those meetings have not been set.

Last week, the Mahoning County commissioners approved about $217,000 for a design study.

That study is “everything getting us up to construction,” which is about a year and a half away, Donham said. He added that the design fee and construction costs will be paid for through a federal grant.

Phyllis Fedorchak has lived on Sheridan Road near the intersection for 19 years and has seen many accidents in that time.

“I think they should put a four-way light and a turn lane. I think it’ll be worse with the roundabout,” she said.

Donham said initially the county considered a turning lane.

“The problem we ran into is there’s quite a bit of right-of-way that needs to be taken to accomplish it. ... Sidewalks would be moved very close to people’s porches,” he said.

“... You don’t like to change the character of a neighborhood if you don’t have to,” he added.

Donham noted that the projected cost of the roundabout was cheaper than the left turn lane, because the roundabout will shift the intersection center east where there are no right-of-way concerns.

He emphasized that this is a “modern” roundabout, not a standard traffic circle. The design is more compact, with one lane in the circle and a 100-foot diameter.

“The roundabout’s tight design forces cars to slow down, to only 20 miles per hour. ... And you’re able to see all traffic from all directions without having to look outside of your peripheral vision,” Donham said.

Crash data for the intersection are available on the Eastgate Regional Council of Governments website. Annual crash data are supplied to Eastgate by the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

From 2005 to 2007, 23 crashes were reported at the Mathews-Sheridan intersection, according to the website.

Eleven were caused by following another car too closely; nine were caused by a car running a red light; one was failure to yield; and two had unknown causes, according to the data.


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