Once again the Lake Township trustees are asking the Ohio Department of Transportation to install a traffic signal at the corner of State Route 51 and Millbury roads.
The board of trustees Tuesday approved a resolution for ODOT to install a signal at the intersection where several persons were injured March 6 in a three-car accident.
The intersection, however, has been a source of concern for township officials for years, Richard Welling, a trustee, said, holding up a folder of material, including correspondence with ODOT and state legislators and it’s almost become a rite of spring for trustees to appeal to the transportation department for some type of control device at the corner.
Mr. Welling said the board has written letters in March in previous years when a popular ice cream and sandwich shop at the intersection opens for the season.
“Usually a week or so after Mel-O-Crème opens, the businesses up there usually ask us to do something about the congestion,” he said after the meeting, adding the trustees asked for a traffic study in 1999 of the intersection.
And to date, the state has declined the trustees’ request for a signal at the site, saying the location doesn’t meet the criteria for a signal.
The trustees received support from a Lake school board member who was attending the meeting.
Ken Smith said he and fellow board members “definitely support” the resolution. He noted the school district has school buses and student drivers regularly passing through the intersection.
The trustees encouraged residents to also write to the transportation department.
“We’ve been trying and will try again,” Melanie Bowen, a trustee, said and trustee Ron Sims said he’d been in contact with an ODOT official who helped the township in another request to have signs posted at an exit from a business on State Route 795.
Mr. Welling said the trustees have emphasized in their correspondence with ODOT that Millbury Road approaches Route 51 at an angle, making visibility difficult.
Township Police Chief Mark Hummer read an anonymous letter from a woman who was assisted by Officer Shannon Badgett in January.
“The kids and I were on 280 heading back to my mother’s and I got a flat tire,” the letter says. “Reality began to set in: A single woman, 2 small kids, broke down on the side of a busy highway, no money, no cell phone. I began to cry. The kids began to cry also.
“Your officer treated us all with great care and respect. He insisted we stay in the care – he took a look at my tire and said he would fix it while stayed safe and warm. He chatted and joked with the kids.”
Officer Badgett refused the woman’s offer of $2 and “…reached in his pocket and handed me $20 …then instructed me to take the kids to the McDonalds up the road.”
Earlier in the letter, the woman said her children were afraid of police officers after watching their father “my ex” leave our home in cuffs (more than once)”
“I still cry when I think about that day, but not it’s not out of fear or hopelessness, I cry because I’m so touched by the way one person – in this case a big, tall, `scary’ policeman – could care so much about a family that’s not his own. He helped us the way you help your family – not a car full of crying strangers.”