Problematic Intersections have been a topic of conversations for many years and have recently been discussed in the North Royalton Council Safety Committee. Specifically, they have been talking about the intersections of Ridge Road at Royalwood and Julia and the intersection of York and Albion Roads.
As Chairman of the Safety Committee I brought up the concerns of my residents in my Committee regarding the traffic at the intersection of York Road and Albion Road,” said Ward 3 Councilman, Dan Langshaw. “It has been difficult over the years to find funding of any kind to address issues on this county road.
“I’ve been talking about intersections for some time,” said John Nickell, Councilman of Ward 1, where the York/Albion intersection is located. “One of my proposals if we can’t get grant money is to use the additional ten center gas tax that is coming. That should generate about $722,000 in two years. My proposal is to pick an intersection and do one every three to five years.” Nickell said that the Albion intersection should cost about $2 million to complete. The intersections of Royalwood/Julia/Ridge would be more costly, about $2.5 million, as it would not be just a widening and would require the purchase of property.
Nickell said that some feel that the York/Albion congestion is more school related, as Albion Elementary School is in that area. Nickell disagrees, saying that, “with York Road – you have your industrial park, it’s a heavily traveled road. There is a small window, when school starts and is let out, but I sit there for three, four, seven light changes. There are more than 2,000 feet, almost a half mile backup, between 4:30 and 5 p.m. The main concern is North/South traffic.” He said that the congestion occurs because there is no official turning lane or turning arrow, but feels that a turning arrow is not a permanent fix. “It would cost tens of thousands of dollars to do that alone, as they will have to change the signal boxes,” he said.
Ward 4 Councilman Paul Marnecheck lives the problems with the Ridge/Royalwood/Julia intersection daily, as he lives on Julia Drive. “I know it’s a pinch point. I drive it every day!” He has been very vocal over the past years on the subject, trying to find a solution. “Just because we don’t have a solution doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on the problem. We’ve looked at the timing of the light. Putting up more street signs. The best answer, I feel, would be to straighten out that intersection. The solution isn’t a tough one, it’s an expensive one. How do we pay for it?” Marnecheck is hopeful that there may be a financial solution with the increase in funding from the gas tax. He also is hopeful that the Local Government Fund might also play into increased funding for North Royalton. “Now we might have a viable funding source.”
The city has taken the next step in the process by applying for a traffic study from the Northeast Ohio Areawide Agency (NOACA). The traffic study is being done at no charge. Mayor Bob Stefanik said it is important to get information from the traffic study in order to supply the information when asking for funding, such as Issue One. Unfortunately, in the past, intersections have not scored well, as the city had applied for the Ridge Road intersection in the past and was not successful. Marnecheck is hopeful that the state’s income from the increased gas tax might allow for more of this type of funding going forward.
“I think we need a clearer picture as to what we are able to do there,” said Council President Larry Antoskiewicz. “I know that sometimes there is a little impatience, but before you spend millions of dollars on a problem, you need to cover with your facts and input from people who do these things for a living.” Every city has issues with traffic, especially when people are going and coming from work. There may be a way of improving the traffic light (at York and Albion). That’s what we want to see, is there a less expensive means. If we can’t do it that way then it’s a much bigger issue.”
Contributing Writer