Wednesday, September 2, 2009

No traffic light for site of fatal accident, but solutions coming

A traffic light won't be coming to the site of a fatal Madisonville accident, but Cincinnati city manager Milton Dohoney Jr. says in a report to City council that the City's Department of Transportation and Engineering (DOTE) has taken several steps to make the area more pedestrian-friendly.

The report is the result of a February 5 motion by councilmember Laketa Cole asking for pedestrian-friendly traffic calming measures along Madison Road between Red Bank Expressway and Stewart Avenue, specifically in the area of the crosswalk leading from near the St. Paul Village retirement community to Anderson Place.

Last December 4, William Johnson, 65, was killed in the crosswalk during the early morning hours after being struck by an SUV driven by Daniel Albers of Anderson Township.

Albers was charged with both vehicular homicide and vehicular manslaughter for failing to yield.

A DOTE study found that the crosswalk had adequate pavement markings and visibility, and that an overhead crosswalk sign with a single flashing yellow light was operational.

While a traffic signal at Anderson Place was considered, studies found that the intersection did not meet and of the City's criteria for traffic volumes, pedestrian volumes, or crash history.

One hundred vehicles per hour from either side or 100 pedestrians per hour are necessary to warrant a traffic signal, Dohoney says.

"The current traffic volumes from Anderson Place and the Lutheran Village do not meet criteria for installation of a traffic signal," he says. "The number of pedestrians utilizing this crosswalk would also not meet the requisite criteria. The accident record shows no crashes within the last four years that could be correctable with the placement of a traffic signal, except the recent pedestrian crash. A historical check of the accidents shows very few accidents, with none correctable with the installation of a traffic signal."

Dohoney also says that the St. Paul Village driveway, which is located approximately 30 feet east of the intersection of Madison Road and Anderson Place, would need to be modified to provide safe traffic signal operation.

"The City does not signalize driveways – they must be modified to a street condition, flush with the main street," he says. This allows for the installation of a normal crosswalk with curb ramps and pedestrian signals across the private driveway. If left as a normal driveway with a normal sidewalk across its width, pedestrians do not always recognize that they are entering a signalized intersection and may disregard the pedestrian signals. Also, the traffic signal would operate inefficiently unless the driveway was moved to be directly across from Anderson Place."

To make the crosswalk even more visible, Dohoney says that the City has installed new yellow-green fluorescent side-mounted signage and a new overhead crosswalk sign with two alternating flashing yellow lights.

Safer crosswalks are due to be installed at Madison Road and Stewart Avenue as well as 600 feet to the west, at a planned new entrance for the new Medpace headquarters at the former NuTone site, he says.

Previous reading on BC:
Cole motion would calm dangerous section of Madison Road (2/18/09)