The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Northwood has raised the speed limit on a segment of Wales Road, from Woodville Road to East Broadway, to 45 mph from 35 mph.

Police Chief Thomas Cairl said the speed changed this month due to the realignment of Wales Road, which was part of the $12 million Wales Road grade separation project that included the construction of two overpasses on Wales that was completed in 2014.

“The speed limit has always been 35 mph on Wales Road, from Woodville Road to East Broadway,” said Cairl. “That’s because there used to be homes on that segment of Wales when it was straight. Then when they redesigned that road with curves, there were no more homes on it. The only way you can access it, basically, is from intersections.”

Wales Road, when it had a straight configuration, was also more congested. “With the curves, the road has more free flowing traffic from East Broadway to Woodille Road. Motorists are moving pretty quickly through there. Sometimes I’m waiting to get onto the road, and I have to wait. They’re hauling through right in front of the police department. But that’s the nature of the new road design. We wanted to make sure we weren’t citing people inappropriately. The increased speed limit will alleviate some of the citations that were written on Wales Road,” he said.

Speed study
He said a speed study was conducted to determine the average speed at which motorists were driving.

“We put out unmarked cars and took speed measurements on three segments of the road: Wales between East Broadway and a set of railroad tracks; between the railroad tracks and Drouillard Road; and between Drouillard Road and Woodville Road. We wanted the true feeling of how fast people were driving up and down the new overpasses,” he said. Motorists tend to drive faster down roads with curves, he added.

“So we looked into it, did the speed study, and it was determined the speed limit should be 45 mph,” said Cairl.

The study took a while to be completed, he said.

“We put personnel out there for a couple of hours to ascertain the speeds of the vehicles without them knowing. They took a laser, figured out what speed they were driving, marked the speeds down, and gave the information to our engineer, Dave Kuhn, who compiled the information for us. We picked hours of the day when there was free flowing traffic. We didn’t want to target a bunch of cars because there might be someone going 35, and everyone else behind him is going 35,” he said.

Reduce tickets
The average speed of motorists on all three segments of Wales was 45 mph, he said, though the speed limit had been posted at 35 mph.

Despite the posted speed limit on the roads, national studies show that motorists will drive at the speed in which they are the most comfortable, he said.

“Why should we keep the speed limit lower than what it should be,” he said. “This way, people will avoid getting a speeding ticket unnecessarily.”

The new 45 mph speed limit took effect on Jan. 1.

“I got a lot of compliments from folks saying, `It’s about time,’” he said.

Cairl added that the city is likely to examine the speed on other roads to determine whether the speed limit should be adjusted.

“Out of 100 cars, at what speed is 85 percent of them driving. Then you have to see how many curb cuts and accidents are on the road,” he said.

 

 

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