Thursday, February 13, 2003

Trustees postpone traffic study of Hamilton-Mason


West Chester will look at problem later with county

By Anna Guido
Enquirer contributor

WEST CHESTER TWP. - Township trustees have agreed to put the brakes on an investigation into traffic and speed problems on Hamilton-Mason Road.

Instead, they will examine the problem later in cooperation with Butler County engineers and Liberty Township trustees, who share maintenance responsibility for the rural, two-lane road that borders the two townships.

"We need to take a look at that whole area and see what needs to be done," Trustee Catherine Stokersaid. "With all of the new retail business coming in - and other development - Hamilton-Mason is one of those roads that's really going to have to be looked at for improvement."

The trustees' decision Tuesday came after Police Chief John Brucepresented findings on a 24-hour traffic study of a section of the road between Ohio 747 and LeSourdsville-West Chester Road. The study was done in response to resident complaints that motorists are driving too fast along all parts of the road.

"I don't know how many times I've had to pass up my driveway because cars behind me came up over the hill so fast they would have hit me if I stopped to turn," said Gail Abt, 7510 Hamilton-Mason Road. Abt lives on the north side of Hamilton-Mason Road in Liberty Township, between Cincinnati-Dayton Road and the Interstate 75 bridge.

"In the 10 years that I've lived here, there've been at least five or six accidents just outside my door," Abt said. "Cars and trucks just fly by."

West Chester Police Sgt. Barry Walkersaid the speed limit along the road varies and is 55 mphwhere Abt lives. The speed limit is 45 mph on the section where police did the traffic study. A total of 5,630vehicles traveled that stretch during the study period, which began at 3 p.m. Feb. 4 and ended at 3 p.m. Feb. 5.

The police chief said 85 percent of the cars were driving 50 mph or less. When county engineers and the Ohio Department of Transportationanalyze road speed for a possible reduction or increase, if 85 percent of motorists are driving above the posted speed limit safely, then increasing the speed limit is considered.

"It's in the best interest to the motoring public to get as many cars through a particular area as you can, as long as it can be done safety," the chief said. "It's the responsibility of the motorist to adhere to the speed limit and warning or advisory signs when they come to hazardous areas."

Stoker said postponing action on Hamilton-Mason Road is wise because a proposed Joint Economic Development District (JEDD) in the area could bring in funds needed for the road's improvement.




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