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Concerned Residents Talk Roundabouts at City Council

Two Twinsburg residents spoke to City Council Tuesday night about why they think the proposed construction on SR 91 needs changed

While the project is still years into the future, the idea of implementing roundabouts in busy Twinsburg intersections is sparking resident reaction.

, some residents weren’t convinced the proposed roundabouts on SR 91 are the best idea. Two residents voiced their displeasure at Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, worried the proposed changes would be dangerous and not fix traffic issues

“I propose we build bleachers around our new traffic roundabout and sell tickets to thrill seekers who otherwise have to watch NASCAR races to seek spectacular crashes,” Scott Ruhe said.

The project looks to improve SR 91 starting 200 feet south of Post Road to the northern corporation line at Solon by widening, improving drainage, upgrading existing traffic signals, constructing two roundabouts and constructing new sidewalks along both sides of the roadway, according to a press release from the Department of Engineering

Ruhe, of Belmeadow Drive, told council that he’s done research on the use of roundabouts in other parts of the country and concluded they are inefficient and dangerous. He thinks installing cameras, increased police presence or banning cell phones while driving would be better.

“If we really want to make a difference on our roads, in respect to safety, maybe we should look at other methods,” Ruhe said.

Mike DiCillo, a Palmer Lane resident, said he sees the traffic jams on SR 91 and Glenwood Drive everyday and thinks adding four lanes isn’t necessary.

“I think that we could get by with three lanes,” DiCillo said. “Put a turning lane in there, you could stack cars in the turning lane, and the other two lanes are going free. I don’t see the need to put four lanes in there.”

DiCillo thought format of Thursday’s open house wasn’t very helpful and wished there was more of a presentation to better answer residents’ questions.

“I thought the presentation was very poor,” DiCillo said. “People were milling around. They didn’t know where to go, what do do, or what questions to ask.”

Both City Council and Mayor Katherine Procop agreed the open house format wasn’t as beneficial as it could have been, adding there will be public hearings for this project in the future.

“The open house that was conducted the other night was not a public hearing, it was to display what the possible layout of the project will look like,” Procop said. She said these intersections on SR 91 have been on the Akron Metropolitian Area Traffic Study’s list of congested highways for years.

Procop said they will look at the comments from Thursday’s meeting as well as email comments afterwards, and take them into consideration. She said comments from the meeting were mostly negative, but she’s gotten many emails in favor of the project.

“This is just the beginning phase of it,” Procop said. “When we do these projects, this thing won’t even get under construction until 2017, so we have lots of time to work on it."

What do you think? Take our poll and tell us your opinion in the comments section. This isn't a scientific poll and the results shouldn't be taken as a conclusive opinion.

Audrey Kancler October 27, 2011 at 11:37 AM
All meaningful research on Roundabouts establish that they are safer, move traffic better than with stoplight systems and save gasoline by not having vehicles idling and wasing fuel. I question what research says to the contrary. Roundabouts across the Country and in Europe work. Ed Kancler
ScottRAB October 27, 2011 at 06:27 PM
Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit www.iihs.org for safety facts. The safety comes from the ‘slow and go’ operation instead of the ‘stop or go fast’ way a stop light works (or the ‘keep going fast’ large traffic circle fantasy). The smaller size of the modern roundabout is what makes them safer and keeps speeds in the 20 mph range. This makes it much easier to avoid a crash or stop for pedestrians. It also means that if a crash happens the likelihood of injury is very low. Safety is the #1 reason there are over 2,300 modern roundabouts in the US today and many more on the way. Slow and go also means less delay than a stop light, especially the other 20 hours a day people aren’t driving to or from work. Average daily delay at a signal is around 12 seconds per car. At a modern roundabout average delay is less than five seconds. Signals take an hour of demand and restrict it to a half hour, at best only half the traffic gets to go at any one time. At a modern roundabout four drivers entering from four directions can all enter at the same time. Don’t try that with a signalized intersection.

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