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Council's Discussion on SR 91 Going 'Roundabout'

City council still trying to decide best path for the future

Even though there wasn't any legislation about the State Route 91 project Tuesday night, Twinsburg City Council still spent plenty of time discussing the issue.

At the end of the meeting At-Large Councilman Gary Sorace made a motion to to hold the project and consider other options. However, only he and Ward 2 Councilman Bob McDermott voted for it.

“The longer we continue to head in this direction, I think we sending the message that it is a done deal,” Sorace said. "Let’s show them what the other options are."

Phase I of the project would widen SR 91 from Post Road to Glenwood Drive and construct a roundabout at the Glenwood intersection.

Sorace said he has only heard from two residents in favor of the roundabouts, and continues to hear from people who oppose it.

“I still have yet to hear of people who are adamently in favor of having this roundabout,” Sorace said.

While the roundabout is the preferred option moving forward, it's not the only one that is being looked at. Mayor Katherine Procop said she is just waiting to hear from council if they wish to plan for the roundabout at SR 91 and Glenwood Drive, or the other possibility of widening the road and expanding the intersection.

“There’s only two options,” Council President Ted Yates said, referring to either a roundabout or for a turn signal intersection.

However, Procop feels the roundabout, while more controversial, is the safer option.

“Safety is the number one issue and that’s why I believe we should move forward with it,” Procop said.

Recently Procop, along with Ward 4 Councilwoman Maureen Stauffer, Ward 1 Councilman Sam Scaffide and Engineer Amy Mohr visited a similar roundabout in the city of Green to see how well it works.

“The conditions basically mirror exactly what we have," Procop said including a fire station on the corner and a high school near the roundabout. They said there were buses and semi trucks driving with no problems. Even high school students walking the roundabout with no issues.

(Click here to watch live video from the Green roundabout.)

Procop said Green's engineer experienced “great resistance” when the roundabout was first built, but it has gone over so well, they are planning on building a second with little opposition.

Scaffide said he was even more convinced about the positives of a roundabout after his visit to Green.

“Never once did i feel threatened or in danger by traffic while walking through the roundabout,” Scaffide said.

No money has been spent for engineering on Phase I and it hasn’t been authorized yet, Procop said. There is no deadline set and Mohr is trying to see how long before the city loses funding.

“This is a slow moving process,” Yates said. “We’re not bringing bulldozers next week.”

Dennis James Deegan CTM March 01, 2012 at 02:52 PM
When you watch the video of the Roundabout in Green, it sure seems like a very efficient way to move traffic; very smoothly, continual movement. I really don't understand what there is to not like about a roundabout. The one on Liberty & Gelnwood works beautifully; plus some landscaping is more enjoyable to look at than the feel of CITY stop lights. I see roundabouts as a charming and effective way to manage an increasing flow of traffic. Dennis Deegan
Nassman March 01, 2012 at 03:46 PM
I agree Dennis- Here is the link http://www.cityofgreen.org/roundabout-camera
ScottRAB March 01, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit www.iihs.org for FAQs and 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 2,400 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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