Resident: Speeders put many in danger

Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 27, 2000

This is Mrs.

Thursday, January 27, 2000

This is Mrs. McCormick’s second pet that has met with an untimely demise by the side of County Road 23, or Ohio Furnace Road – a heavily-traveled roadway leading into Scioto County.

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And Mrs. McCormick is afraid that next time the victim will be a child.

"I want signs posted on this road," Mrs. McCormick said. "We need speed signs because there are no speed signs. And it’s very dangerous for children. The road is very heavily traveled and the cars go very fast. I’ve seen some of the kids do 75 miles per hour down this road. They pull out and they squeal their tires like it’s a drag strip."

Traffic on the road has always been a problem, said Bob Blankenship, Hamilton Township trustee. But there is little anyone can do about it, he said.

"I’ve gotten calls about that road since I first became a trustee," Blankenship said. "Ohio Furnace Road is a heavily traveled road that goes into Scioto County. And, yes, there’s a lot of speeding on the road."

The trustees have looked into many options, but not many are viable, Blankenship said.

"We checked on speed bumps, but that’s illegal on county roads," he said. "And reducing the speed limit more or less comes down from the state. Even when you have speed limits, it has to be enforced. If there’s no law enforcement there to enforce it, it won’t be done."

And that makes justifying the time and expense to lower the speed limit on the county road that much harder, said David Lynd, county engineer.

"It’s a practical thing," Lynd said. "The limit needs to be less than 55, but it takes a number of days to do the study and collect the data. Then you have to send the paperwork back and forth and we have to put up the signs, maintain the signs – there really is a lot of expense for something that has a minimal effect without the enforcement."

To qualify for a speed reduction on the road, the county engineer’s office would have to conduct a 10-point study regarding how heavily the road is traveled, the average speed of the motorist and how many residents live on the road, Lynd said.

"You have to submit the survey to the State of Ohio," he said. "Only the director of transportation can change a speed limit. And even if we do a study, it might not qualify for a speed reduction. And if it does qualify for a speed reduction, it’s only going to be lowered to 40-45 miles per hour."

To get the ball rolling, all it takes is a few phone calls, Lynd said.

Residents, or local officials should call the county engineer’s office and bring the problem to the office’s attention. Only then will the department consider doing a survey.

"We also can put up caution, children at play signs," Lynd said. "Those are the first things we can do and we would only have to take a look at the road."

As far as speed limit signs go, however, the end result would not be worth the expense paid in most cases, Lynd said.

"Generally, what we find when we do the speed study, is that motorists are usually at or below the 55 (miles per hour)," he said. "You’ll find that they will be traveling at about 45 miles or so, which is what the speed reduction would be."

And without the law enforcement personnel constantly traveling the road and issuing citations, the speed limits would most likely only be followed by those who travel at a decent speed already, Lynd added.

"It might make you feel good because you have the signs, but it won’t really reduce the traffic problem," he said. "It’s kind of frustrating for us. We know it’s too fast, but we also know there’s a lot of work involved that doesn’t achieve what people want. There are a lot of other things we need to do that will have a bigger impact than what happens with the speed reductions."

There’s really nothing else to be done, and it’s no one’s fault, Lynd said.

"Law enforcement doesn’t have the ability to patrol all these areas," Lynd said. "I’m not complaining about their coverage, though. They have a lot to do without constantly writing speeding tickets."