Monday, October 22, 2001

You Asked For It

Could baseballs from park hit cars?

By Walt Schaefer
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        QUESTION: I've been commuting on Interstate 75 for more than seven years. Recently, while in slow traffic driving north on the interstate during rush hour, I saw evidence of what could be a preventable traffic safety problem. There's a baseball field in St. Bernard just before the Norwood Lateral exit. On the freeway outside it I spotted six baseballs in three days outside the fence near the highway. I congratulate the kids who hit the home runs, but I wonder if commuters are in danger. Can something be done to keep the balls in the park? - Anthony Strain, Amberley Village

        ANSWER: St. Bernard Safety Director Ray Schrand said he is concerned if the balls are being hit out of the park and onto the expressway. “That's a heck of a poke” he said, and wondered if players may be throwing the balls over the fence rather than hitting them.

        A barrier wall recently has been installed along the east side of I-75 to keep vehicles from crashing into the park. The new concrete barrier, with the fence atop it, is 10 feet tall — higher than the 6-foot fence there before the improvements. To complete the new barrier, trees that may have caught some baseballs were removed. St Bernard has planted new trees that should grow quickly into a natural barrier. Once baseball resumes in spring, Mr. Schrand said he will walk the expressway in search of baseballs and the city will consider an additional barri er if balls are found.

        Q: I have encountered a problem while traveling westbound on the lower deck of the Western Hills Viaduct during afternoon rush hour. Please describe the intended or legal path that traffic must follow to gain access to westbound Queen City Avenue. If I remember correctly from driver's training, you are not supposed to cross over a solid white line to change lanes. - James Yaeger, Delhi Township

        A: Cincinnati Traffic Engineer Steve Bailey said motorists continue to cross the solid white line to access Queen City Avenue rather than be funneled into Beekman Street and he understands the frustration caused by the viaduct and lane configuration at the location. The city has authorized an intersection improvement project that would create a third lane as a separate access lane to Queen City, he said.

        Cincinnati police officials said it is illegal to cross a solid white line but in cases such as this, where road design becomes an issue, it is up to an officer's discretion whether to issue a citation. A motorist involved in an accident while making such a lane change would be at fault.

        You Asked For It, which runs on Mondays, answers questions about regional history, government, schools and roads. Call 381-2800 and enter 2002. Fax 755-4150. E-mail Mail The Cincinnati Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069. Include name, neighborhood and phone.


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