Monday, December 25, 2000

State will study Warren traffic


Project aims to suggest improvements

By Cindi Andrews
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        LEBANON — Driving in Warren County is dangerous enough that the state will evaluate traffic countywide and suggest improvements.

        The cost to the county: zilch.

        The Ohio Department of Public Safety's traffic project will tackle Warren, Lucas and Scioto counties this year as part of a continuing effort to make roads safer.

        Federal money covers the costs, but no estimates of a total were available last week.

        The project came to Warren County once before — in 1987 — but fast growth has created problems that war rant a new study, said Charles Linek Jr., a member of Ohio State University's traffic team.

        “They're just growing so fast that they're outgrowing their roads,” he said.

        Warren is ranked No. 17 among Ohio's most crash-prone counties in an analysis of 1997-99 data.

        Among the top 28 counties, it had the highest number of young drivers involved in serious crashes — 24, according to the data.

        The Department of Public Safety picks the counties to be studied based on the data and then contracts with OSU to carry out the studies.

        OSU's team includes three engineers in addition to Mr. Linek, a retired state trooper.

        The team will present recommendations on Warren County by late September 2001, Mr. Linek said, after looking at signage, education programs, accident rates at intersections, law enforcement and EMT services, and other data.

        “A big part of what we do is try to get people thinking traffic safety,” he said, pointing out that more people die in crashes than in homicides.

        The suggestions might include anything from record-keeping changes to new construction. Warren County Engineer Neil Tunison said he looks forward to hearing the results.

        “I'll find it very useful,” Mr. Tunison said.

       



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