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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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After writing more than 30 letters to county and state officials and agencies, the Lake Township trustees want to meet face-to-face with the Ohio Department of Transportation to discuss the traffic situation at the corner of State Route 51 and Millbury Road – the scene of a fatal crash last week.

“We’ve been sending letters out feverishly,” Melanie Bowen, who chairs the township’s board of trustees, said Tuesday during the trustees’ meeting. “We want to ask them (ODOT) what needs to be done for this intersection,”

In March, after another three-vehicle accident at the site that injured several persons, the trustees approved a resolution requesting ODOT install a signal at the intersection.

Bowen last week read a letter dated April 28 from Michael Stormer, District Planning Engineer for ODOT, that states the department completed a review of the crash history at the site for 2005-2008.

“The results show there were a total of five crashes in those four years,” Stormer’s letter says. “Three of the five crashes involved an angle crash. As a result of this type of crash pattern and the existing intersection skew we will modify the pavement markings on the Millbury Road stop approaches to align the motorists to become perpendicular with SR 51 when they have stopped on Millbury Road. This technique has been used successfully in other area of northwest Ohio. We will also add “Cross Traffic Does Not Stop” signs to below the existing right Stop signs on Millbury Road to assist the motorists stopped on northbound and southbound Millbury Road.”

ODOT is also offering to work with business owners near the intersection to better delineate where the roadway and parking lots are to better  manage access.

The department, however, repeated its conclusion that the intersection doesn’t meet criteria for the installation of a traffic signal.

“….as we stated in the April, 2008 letter a traffic signal cannot be installed unless one or more of the Traffic Signal Warrants for the installation of  a traffic signal that are outlined in the Ohio Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices is met,” Stormer’s letter says.

The trustees have since asked Stormer’s office to expand its review to include the two crashes that occurred near the intersection this year.

They are also asking for a representative of ODOT to attend a public meeting of the trustees to explain how the warrant system determines when and where traffic signals are installed.

In addition, the trustees are asking for a list of all ODOT-approved traffic control devices for the last five years in northern Wood County along with a list of corresponding warrants for each approved device.

The traffic control manual, which was updated in 2005, establishes statewide standards for the design and use of traffic control devices on public highways in Ohio. It covers criteria for signs, markings, and traffic signals for roads, rail crossings, bicycle facilities, school areas, and areas needing temporary traffic controls.