City of Huron
Roundabout way to improving safety
Mar 7, 2014 at 4:24 PM
There’s no roundabout way to describe U.S. 6 in Huron, other than calling it inconvenient.
Walkers, joggers, bicyclists and children tempt fate each time they cross the busy corridor, which cuts through Huron.
Drivers must carefully maneuver when turning onto or off the divided highway.
To make the corridor safer, city officials devised a plan calling for gradual fixes in specific areas.
First up: improvements where Berlin Road meets Cleveland Road East (U.S. 6), near Marconi’s Italian Restaurant.
Officials are considering several ways to upgrade the intersection, one of which involves constructing a modern roundabout, forcing drivers to travel in a counterclockwise direction around a central island.
Modern roundabouts typically don’t have traffic signals or stop signs. Drivers must yield before entering the roundabout and they can exit once they arrive at their desired exit point.
Some preliminary work, such as artist renderings of what it could look like, has already been done, Huron city manager Andy White said. With the way this intersection angles — for instance, it’s a sharp turn heading south on Berlin Road and then turning west onto Cleveland Road — cars are more likely to crash in this area compared to others, White said.
A modern roundabout would eliminate sharp turns.
The proposed change also involves adding turning lanes and reducing the number of east and west lanes from two in each direction to one. “To break up some of the wide-open spaces of asphalt is beneficial because it promotes more efficient maintenance, beautifies some key entry points to the city and establishes safer crossing areas for pedestrian traffic” White said. The construction cost for the modern roundabout is unknown.
As of today, there’s no such traffic pattern anywhere in Erie County. The improvement plans for the corridor circles back to Huron’s $9 million master plan — a decade-long blueprint aimed at luring businesses and persuading people to stay and move into Huron.
Other recent improvements completed to make Huron’s roads safer for commuters and pedestrians:
•Widening Rye Beach Road by Ohio 2.
•Paving Jim Campbell Boulevard.
•Creating a bike path running parallel to U.S. 6 and connecting Huron High School to Woodlands Intermediate School.
Officials also planned for several cosmetic features on the Huron Memorial Bridge, such as removing the barrier, taking out light poles and improving landscape. They also scheduled a sidewalk project on Ohio 13 from U.S. 6 to Thunderbird Hills Golf Course.
“The council, in conjunction with Huron’s administrative staff, is focused on making efficient improvements to enhance the quality of life for our residents,” Huron city councilman Trey Hardy said.