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Speed worries prompt study along 256
Safety along State Route 256 has been a concern of Pickerington City Engineer Greg Bachman since he accepted the position nearly a year ago.
Over that time, Bachman has been examining the stretch of road by looking at its crash history and other factors to determine what changes need to be made to improve safety.
The city is planning to apply for an Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) safety grant to help with those determinations.
If awarded, the grant would pay for intersection improvements, a third southbound lane and widening, among other possible improvements, Bachman said.
However, improvements aren’t the only possible change on the horizon.
A speed study also was conducted in recent weeks.
The study, which was conducted between Diley Road and State Route 204, examined factors such as the geometry of the road, the amount of development and the crash history, Bachman said.
Radar findings determined a median speed of 42 mph, he said.
The 85th percentile speed, which is one factor that engineers use to determine what the speed limit should be, was 45 mph, he added.
Based on those factors, the speed study indicated that the speed limit should be dropped to 45 or possibly even 40 mph from 50 mph, Bachman said.
Bachman forwarded those results on to ODOT and is awaiting its input on the matter.
The speed study results also will be useful in applying for the safety grant.
Bachman provided a rough estimate of the total cost of the entire safety improvement project to range between $3 million and $5 million.
The safety grant could pay for as much as 90 percent of that cost, he added.
The grant can be applied for twice a year, in March and in August, Bachman said.
Although Bachman would like to have the application completed by this August, because of the extent of the application, he estimates the city will strive for the March 2011 deadline.
In the meantime, the city will work with ODOT to determine whether the speed limit should be decreased.
If it is determined that the speed limit should be decreased, there is no exact time-frame on when that would occur, Bachman explained.
It could occur this year or it may be several years, he said.
|On June 18, 2010 AutoJunkie said:
How about you do something about the congestion on 256 instead? The congestion alone makes it near impossible to even reach 35mph. There are so many lights and cars - you would have to be extremely lucky to reach 45mph before you hit traffic or a light. I've only been able to drive the speed limit really late at night or early sat. morning when there are few cars and all lights are green. What a waste of money to study the speed limit...
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