TWINSBURG — City officials hope the recent restriping and other changes at the Route 91 and Glenwood Drive roundabout will reduce confusion — and accidents — for motorists.
And they hope some things learned from the problems at that roundabout can help enhance safety at a second roundabout planned for Route 91 and Meadowood Boulevard and Ethan’s Drive.
According to city records, nearly 50 traffic accidents have occurred at the intersection since the roundabout was built about 1 1/2 years ago.
City Engineer Amy Mohr said the city hired Mark Johnson of MTJ Engineering, a Wisconsin consulting firm, to review the Route 91-Glenwood roundabout and plans for the second one.
She said Johnson made several low-cost suggestions as to how to reduce the number of accidents at the existing roundabout, and the city has implemented many of them.
The roundabout, which is part of an $8.5 million Route 91 corridor improvements project, was restriped May 23 so that it will function as a single-lane circle, although northbound and southbound traffic now have dedicated lanes for drivers to turn right after yielding to circulating traffic.
The most recent change also includes adding pavement markings and delineators to restrict traffic in the curb lane from circulating the roundabout.
The straight and left turn movement from the northbound and southbound directions will occur from the inside lane, and drivers also must yield to traffic circulating in the roundabout prior to entering.
The eastbound Glenwood leg of the roundabout was restriped to remove the right turn lane and to function as a one-lane approach, similar to the existing westbound Glenwood leg of the intersection.
No changes to the westbound leg of the intersection have occurred other than a more pronounced yield line being added, which matches new yield line bars placed on all legs of the roundabout entry.
Drivers are urged to always yield to traffic already in the roundabout. They should remember a yield sign means to slow down, defer to oncoming or intersection traffic, stop when necessary, proceed when safe and remain aware of circulating traffic and pedestrians.
Mayor Ted Yates said he believes the changes will be "a positive adjustment." He said he was out observing the intersection just after the restriping was completed, and "the traffic is moving smoothly and people seem to be adapting."
Mohr said safety-enhancing measures previously carried out included eliminating hawk pedestrian signals and reducing signage to cut down on "clutter which may confuse drivers."
An Akron firm — GPD Group — designed the Route 91-Glenwood roundabout and the one planned at Route 91 and Meadowood Boulevard-Ethan’s Drive. The city also has a single-lane roundabout at Glenwood Drive and Liberty Road.
"We believe the restriping to eliminate one lane around part of the roundabout will go a long way toward enhancing safety," said Mohr. "Motorists must realize that slowing down and yielding are important aspects when negotiating a roundabout."
Mohr said the recent fixes will not cost the city much money since some of the work was done in-house and the restriping is included in the city’s $70,000 overall annual restriping contract.
Mohr said the Ohio Department of Transportation soon will award a contract for Phase 2 of the Route 91 corridor improvements, with the engineering estimate being $4 million. Phase 2 covers the stretch between Glenwood Drive and the Solon border.
"The gas company probably will start relocating lines in June, but the main part of the project will commence about August or September," she noted.
Reporter Ken Lahmers can be reached at 330-541-9400 ext. 4189 or firstname.lastname@example.org