Roundabout way to improving safety

Huron seeks to make crossing Cleveland road safer
Andy Ouriel
Mar 7, 2014
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.

Comments

rbenn

This is an excellent idea, these do decrease accidents.

fenderstrat52

Yeah, that's it! Throw millions of dollars into a project because of peoples inability to read signs, marked pavement, obey traffic signals, and just in general can't drive! with common sense! Oh, yeah I want to pay more attention to the landscape around me when making a turn! Can you put in some nice floral stuff for my wife?

worddrow811

Collisions are caused by human error. A roundabout won't fix anything if the drivers aren't paying attention. I would like to know how many collisions have happened at that intersection in the last ten years. The only thing that I ever saw was a rolled bale of hay fall off a wagon and had to be removed.

Lest anyone forgets to remember, the bridge barriers were erected to keep vehicles from going into the river should there be a collision.

Instead of removing an already-in-place safety barrier, have the art department from HHS paint them with pictures of old Huron on the sidewalk side and new Huron on the traffic side. They're painting the water tower to save money and the barriers are a blank canvas.

As for paving J C Boulevard, unless they fix the running-the-stop-sign-issue first, that idea is a waste of time. The people who park their vehicles across the sidewalks are forcing the pedestians to walk in the street to get around the cars.

Show us the numbers to back up this wishful thinking. If it has to be justified, it's wrong.

rbenn
rbenn
Peninsula Pundit

I am amazed, er... amused, that the first thing virulent govt haters post are govt studies.

rbenn

put politics aside pundit, they asked for statistics I provided that.

Elwood

How many accidents have occurred at this intersection?
Is this intersection considered dangerous?
If not why spend additional funds to redesign it, who comes up with this stuff?

worddrow811

day-dream believers, Elwood, day-dream believers.

Darkhorse

This new design will be a nightmare. I have driven on one of the circular designed roads on the east coast. The road design is called rotaries. It is a horrible experience because there is no stop signs or traffic lights and you go at your own risk and sometimes you can't get off and have to go around again so you can exit. The rotaries are accidents waiting to happen. Huron thinks they have problems now, just wait until the rotary is constructed.

bnjjad

I have used several Roundabouts as well as mini roundabouts in different areas numerous times and have had no issues. England uses them almost exclusively. They are not accidents waiting to happen if people actually pay attention like they are suppose to. They are no more dangerous then a regular intersection and are usually more efficient and safe because of a reduction in cross traffic and pedestrian traffic.

worddrow811

We're not talking about England. They have one at Dupont Circle in Washington D.C. and so what? They have more traffic volume than Huron Ohio and that is the issue. We do not have the traffic volume any more because of the by-pass around Huron. It's a waste of money and I am tired of seeing taxpayers money wasted on grandiose ideas.

bnjjad

Traffic volume is one of the main reasons a Round about is a better idea, no need for upkeep of expensive traffic control lights/systems, no sitting and waiting for a green light with no traffic coming.

worddrow811

I read the list of pros and cons in the e-paper and the first negative was drivers possibly running into people trying to avoid other drivers.

Shawnee School is on that side of town, the buses carrying the children will have to navigate the roundabout and omg, is that not enough of a reason to NOT put one there.

Narrowing the lanes of traffic to one is downright ignorant because it creates congestion, but they already know that. Their priorities are making the area pretty, are you kidding me?

I want human lives to be the priority, not fulfilling a fantasy by our city government. Step up the police presence in the area.

IF IT HAS TO BE JUSTIFIED, IT'S A BAD IDEA!

Elwood

How the h3ll would you negotiate this on a bicycle? It appears to be an accident just waiting to happen.
You better think this one over Huron, do your citizens really want this goofy thing?

I sincerely hope you didn't come up with this idea because the county is going to build one at Campbell and Bogart. Even with a grant it's another bad idea.

worddrow811

How are the young children supposed to navigate is the bigger question?

You can quote statistics all day long but it does not mean that this is a bright idea. Children have a tough-enough time as it is without putting this nightmare on their young shoulders.

If we want something new, let's ask for new leadership!

rbenn

Ive driven on many of these things they aren't that difficult lol. They reduce accidents and that's a fact. Go to LaGrange they have one right in the middle of town. Bunch of crybabies

worddrow811

Do you have one where you live rbenn? Nobody cares what you have driven on and stop calling names. The only thing that reduces accidents is paying attention, not adding something else to deal with while driving. Traffic signals have proven to be effective or we wouldn't have them. If this is such a great idea, why aren't they everywhere?

Go to Mt. Gilead. They have one around a statue and they still had to have a signal.

rbenn

Ive lived in a few places that had these, they are a good thing and traffic moves along much faster and smoother.

worddrow811

Good for you and you seem to be the only supporter. We don't need traffic to move faster through Huron, so there is the difference. There are too many gaps in the traffic flow as it is and this would create more danger because of it. My concern is the children who would have to cross this and aren't familiar with how they work. They have come to trust the traffic signal as that is what they learn in safety town. We don't need this on any level, period!

bnjjad

Numerous cities and towns have these across the US. They are getting to be popular in Michigan and on the east cost as well. I have used them many times. Traffic gaps is exactly the reason this is a good idea as it reduces the problem of sitting and waiting at a stop light when NO traffic is coming.

As for Children crossing, This is NO different then a regular intersection to be crossed without traffic signals.

Roundabouts are efficient at keeping traffic moving and reducing accidents. People need to pay attention to driving, If they are not paying attention to figure out a simple roundabout then they are not paying attention enough to watch stop lights and other traffic control devices at a intersection. Personal responsibility goes along way.

worddrow811

We can talk about other places until midnight. Pedestrians are not surrounded by steel and are at the bottom of the list. Cars were invented to get people around in a protected and efficient manner. The arrogance of some drivers borders on stupid. They have no consideration for others and are the leading cause of traffic accidents.

People who have to walk should be given the first priority because it takes them longer to get where they are going and have no protection from the elements while waiting for the drivers. Are drivers so spoiled and inconsiderate that they can't wait twenty to sixty seconds for someone's loved-one to cross their path? Personally, I don't want to have someone's death on my hands, do you?

bnjjad

I agree with you on the stupid drivers, however IMO this intersection as it stands is just as dangerous to pedestrians due to the 4/3 lane crossings as well as the general size of the intersection to begin with. 2 of the oncoming roads are on such severe angles and hard to see.

People who walk should be given a priority, however they need to follow common sense and traffic rules/patterns as well if they want to cross roads where 2 tons of steel could be moving. Most pedestrians I see don't bother watching traffic before stepping out or pay attention to the traffic lights if there are any. Why can they not wait the extra twenty to sixty seconds before crossing safely for their own life?

I always stop for pedestrians when I see them and can safely. The other places is relevant though because Huron is not the only town/city that has these installed. If they were so unsafe, we would not be considering it as a possibility. Maybe its just me, but there is no true intersection design that is safe for anyone on the road, pedestrian, cyclist, or passenger.

thinkagain

Yep, there is a circle in the square. It’s supposed to be a 4 way stop, in reality it is everybody for yourself!

DGMutley

It will certainly cut down on snow removal with the central island in the middle.

How does the roundabout make it safer when a pedestrian shuts an exit down?

bnjjad

When you are getting to your exit location you are suppose to pull to the right instead of being near the circle. If you see a person in the intersection you should stop on the right and wait while other traffic goes around you on the left. Overall Pedestrian safety should be increased because you no longer have multiple lane roads being crossed as well as a median to cross into between lanes if need be.

Peninsula Pundit

'supposed', 'should', 'should.'
Yeah, that always works out well.
Your 'explanation' makes them sound more dangerous than originally thought.
Cars start stopping in front of you, you quickly move to the other lane,Kee-rash!
I've driven many in Detroit. You can palpably feel tension as you approach one which is quickly replaced by thanksgiving to God if you get through it unscathed.

bnjjad

'supposed', 'should', 'should.' - This can be said about ANY traffic control device/intersection. How many people ignore red lights/yellow light? How many blow through stop signs or "California stop"? I am pretty sure Yield means "go as fast as you can, the other person will move/stop". Driving has become a mindless activity and it will be the death of too many people. You cannot blame a intersection design on the stupidity of others all the time. Yes it may be to blame for some accidents/deaths, however that comes with the territory of wanting to cross the path of a 2 ton rolling steel box.

"Cars start stopping in front of you, you quickly move to the other lane,Kee-rash! - Happens everywhere, Your fault for not having assured clear distance or paying attention to the road/surroundings.

Why do people not want to pay attention while driving? You should be vigilant in watching the road and its surroundings (including pedestrian traffic, wildlife) to prevent accidents. At this rate, we should have self driving cars because apparently humanity is not up to the mental task of piloting a car.

Peninsula Pundit

Not a good idea around schools.

http://missoulian.com/news/local...

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2011...

And here is support for DG's question by a road planning engineer.

http://www.renthomas.ca/transpor...

worddrow811

Thank you for the info and I can only pray that the day-dream believers will understand it.

I am tired of drivers who think they are so important and must get somewhere in a hurry while creating drama that can easily be avoided if they would just leave earlier.

If the goal is to get people to come visit Huron, why is there a need to rush them through?

If it isn't broken, don't fix it. The light is doing it's job.

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