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Twinsburg Officials Battling Opposition to Roundabouts

Despite city and consultants saying they are safer and keep traffic flowing, many residents believe plans for two roundabouts on Darrow Road will make driving the road more dangerous and congested.

Twinsburg officials and consultants wanted to deliver a simple message Wednesday about roundabouts: Data shows they are safer and keep traffic flowing better than traditional intersections.

The problem? Most of the residents who attended a public meeting at didn't buy it.

Councilman Ted Yates, who led the presentation for the city, told concerned residents that city council also still has questions about the plans and that it's not a "done deal."

"Nothing has been finalized in terms of where we're moving with this project," Yates said. "We wouldn't be holding these types of meetings if it was a done deal."

City officials said they weren't happy with an to discuss plans for two roundabouts planned for Darrow Road. So the city held Wednesday's meeting to clear up confusion about the plan and make the case that roundabouts would improve traffic flow up and down Darrow.

The plan is to build two roundabouts on Darrow Road, the first at Glenwood Drive and the second at Meadowood Boulevard and Ethan's Drive. The project is expected to cost about $8 million, with the city paying about $1.6 million and the rest paid for with grants.

City Engineer Amy Mohr said the plan is to build the roundabouts one at a time. The Glenwood intersection would be redone first, with construction expected to begin in 2014. It could take another three years of planning and right-of-way acquisition before the second roundabout is built.

On Wednesday, residents viewed a presentation and watched a video explaining how to drive through the circular intersection.

Ed Franks, the project manager with with engineering firm GPD Group, said roundabouts will calm traffic, resulting in lower speeds, make the intersections more visually appealing and reduce city costs, since signals won't have to be maintained.

But residents, especially those who live in developments near these intersections, said they think the roundabouts will make it more difficult to get onto Darrow Road and more dangerous for pedestrians.

Instead, they say the road should be widened and improved with stop-lighted traditional intersections.

City officials acknowledged the disconnect, saying that it will take time to get used to the plans and that the roundabouts, if built, will have a "learning curve."

For now, city officials and consultants are finalizing a list of questions and answers prepared from the October open house. Those will be publicly available in a few days.

ScottRAB February 03, 2012 at 12:14 AM
Modern roundabouts are the safest form of intersection in the world. Visit www.iihs.org for FAQs and safety facts. If you don’t know the difference between a traffic circle, a rotary (UK roundabout) and a modern roundabout, visit www.k-state.edu to see the differences. www.fhwa.dot.gov has a video about modern roundabouts that is mostly accurate (http://tinyurl.com/3hjrqus ). Chosing to put in a signal where a modern roundabout will work is choosing ten times the injury/fatal crashes and twice the fender benders.
EM February 03, 2012 at 02:49 PM
ScottRAB, I found the k-state page on roundabouts interesting. But you didn't actually link to the roundabout page. Here is the link to k-state's page on roundabouts: http://www.k-state.edu/roundabouts/
Scott Darpel February 03, 2012 at 06:18 PM
ScottRAB - Yes, the roundabouts themselves are safer, and I like them. HOWEVER, the engineering anaylsis performed, and the simulation models it was based upon was incomplete, as I have now pointed out to them twice. Their models did not incorporate in any traffic turning left onto 91 from Sherwin, Warren Parkway, or the Deer Run apartment driveways. The only way we can turn left now is to wait for the gaps created by the light at 91. With the cirlces, these gaps will not occur, and people will take more and more risks to turn. They just threw up some numbers, expecting us to be happy. I saw no visualizaiton of the traffic flow (something I always did when creating engineering simulations), and there is nothing to make me believe they incorporated in the timing and effects of the light at the Solon border. The anaylsis was just incomplete and insufficient. The two streets and apartment driveways are just too close to the proposed circle. This project will only benefit people who do not live near it. I have now brought this up in both forums, and not received any reply. For sure, I will be voting against inivisible Seth next time, for failing to stand up for the interests of the people in his ward. Well, what does he care, anyway. All us people who live in Summit Hills/Grayling Estates and in the apartments are just white trash, anyway.....white trash with a master's degree in engineering and job at NASA, that is. I know poor engineering when I see it.
Scott Darpel February 03, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Oh, and by the way, I do not think it was by chance that this meeting was scheduled for the same night as such an important school board meeting.
susan February 07, 2012 at 07:15 PM
From all the people I have talked to (and thats MANY in this city), the majority of the voters in their 30s and 40s in this city dont care if they put in a roundabout. Aren't there many more IMPORTANT issues in ones life than an intersection in twinsburg Ohio?????? Get a life people!!!!!!! Change can be good. Dont be afraid.
susan February 07, 2012 at 07:31 PM
It disgusts me to see you talking about our councilman that way. do you know him personally? Because I am friends with him and he would NEVER call people in his ward white trash. HOW DARE YOU???? Why dont you run against him? You seem to be prettty qualified. Although, when you "trash talk"......... see you at NASA
Scott Darpel February 07, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Excuse me, Susan, but the safety of the kids, and all adults walking our neighborhoods is pretty darn important. Why do I care? I care because it would affect my daily life, and those of every single one person in our neighborhood, as well as the apartment complex on hte other side of 91. And, no, I do not know him personally. Why? He has never made an effort to get to know the people in his ward. At least Bill Hon would hold meetings and events to get to know everyone. Also, when I talked directly to him about my concerns, he couldn't have seemed less interested. I tried to express to him that this study was incomplete, as it remains. So, perhaps, getting at least thirce ignored (open house, email, and last week), I am a bit sensative about it. I voted for him, believing he would represent our interests. At the very least, listen to my concerns with sincerity. If he ultimately doesn't agree, fine. Also, I AM in my 30's, and the reason MOST people don't care is that they do not live we we do. To be honest, the circle WILL benefit all those in Ethan's Green, Meadowood, and, especially, all those who simply pass through. They already made up their minds. It would have been nice had they done so with a complete analysis.
Mitch Cooper February 07, 2012 at 08:17 PM
A comment was deleted for violating Patch's Terms of Use policy. We encourage lively conversation but please don't use profanity in comments.
Scott Darpel February 07, 2012 at 08:22 PM
Oh, and as I have never tried to hide my name, he is welcome to call me, anytime, to discuss this. Change my opinion.
Scott Darpel February 08, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I would like to thank Councilman Seth Rodin for taking the time to call and talk to me, last night. Firstly, I would like to offer an apology regarding the white trash comment. Even though I've gotten this impression from others, I am not implying that is how he feels about us, as indeed, he has family in our neighborhood. Keep in mind, we were extremely frustrated and felt ignored after raising our concerns on multiple occasions. It is good to hear that he shares many of these concerns. I also wish to express that I do not think ill of our city engineer. I have interacted with Ms. Mohr during the rehab of our street we I caught Fabrizi burying waste in the middle of the road, and she was nothing but appreciative and professional. There were city reps there within moments of my call. I would, however, like to state that I believe I believe my concerns to continue to be valid, and would like restate them so that others who do not live right there can appreciate the impacts to all. First, and this is personal, we are concerned that the constant flow of traffic provided by the circle design will make it even more difficult to make left hand off Sherwin, Warren Parkway, the Deer Run apartment driveways, and several other small driveways. The larger issue, is that this data was absent from their analysis. As it becomes harder to make left hand turns, people will take more risks to do so. That DOES affect all drivers, including those just driving through.
Frances Nugent February 20, 2012 at 12:36 AM
I found shocking the comment by one of our councilpersons that if the first roundabout doesn't work, we won't continue! Also the claim of a decrease in accidents at Liberty roundabout is probably because fewer people will use that roundabout. Frances Nugent, Cobblestone Lane

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