Home News City of Circleville Service Committee Holds on Traffic Configuration Change for Clarity

City of Circleville Service Committee Holds on Traffic Configuration Change for Clarity

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In a recent safety committee meeting held by the City of Circleville, the topic of traffic safety and configuration took center stage. The ordinance proposed a reduction of lanes from four to two on Court Street, with the addition of a center turn lane. This initiative, initially raised by downtown business owners, has been on the table for years with Safety now introducing it.

The ordinance stemmed from concerns regarding traffic safety, particularly regarding left turns onto Court Street and Main Street. It was noted that the current four-lane setup did not meet safety standards, with narrow lanes and insufficient spacing for left-turning vehicles. The proposed solution involved re-striping the road to accommodate a center turn lane, addressing these safety concerns.

During the meeting, discussions also touched on the impact of the proposed changes on emergency responders. Chief Brian Thompson reassured the committee that the new configuration would not hinder emergency vehicle access, citing similar setups on other roads in the area.

However, concerns were raised regarding the legitimacy of traffic studies and the necessity of the proposed changes. Some questioned the accuracy of traffic counts and the absence of comprehensive data supporting the need for lane reduction.

Jeff Coleman, a participant in the meeting, highlighted contradictory statements regarding the level of traffic on Court Street and the urgency for changes. He emphasized the importance of factual information in decision-making and urged for transparency in presenting data to justify the proposed alterations.

Mayor Blanton intervened, providing statistics from the police department regarding accidents on Court Street, further emphasizing the need for safety improvements. Data revealed from January 1 2023 to May 1 of 2024. There are a total of 88 accidents on Court Street from Pleasant Street to Sheets. 22 of them are injury accidents. 51 of them are non injury accidents, and 15 of them minor accidents. Blanton later revealed that the same timeline for Main Street has an equal amount of traffic as Court saw only a fraction of the crashes.

Several people asked for clarity on those crashes, in what area they happened and how many crashes occurred at the Main Street/Court Street intersection that were counted at Court but not Main Street. Sciotopost asked for clarity on this and will post those numbers.

The Council emphasized the importance of safety considerations, highlighting comparable traffic volumes between Court Street and Main Street. The decision to proceed with the lane reduction, she stressed, would be based on prioritizing safety concerns with adequate information.

City of Circleville said that the restriping would cost around 70,000 dollars.

The meeting concluded with a call for transparency and the provision of comprehensive data to support the proposed changes. While safety remained a primary concern, committee members emphasized the need for evidence-based decision-making to ensure the best outcome for the city of Circleville. The council voted to table the ordinance for more information.