By Marie McCain
The Cincinnati Enquirer
MIAMI TWP. - Shelley Eichinger knows all about traffic snarls.
For the 25-year resident of this northwestern Clermont County township, they are a way of life.
It sometimes takes her 45 minutes to travel from Interstate 275 along Ohio 28 to her home on Woodville Pike. She uses several alternate routes to get from her job to her home - and tries not to get angry when stalled in a line of vehicles.
Traffic congestion along Ohio 28 is a headache that residents, business owners and officials here all feel.
And despite numerous proposed remedies, the only sure thing is that, come 2005, the Ohio Department of Transportation, which controls the state route, will begin a widening project east of Bypass 28.
For two years, the township has worked to convince the transportation department that one of the most significant sources of congestion along the Ohio 28 corridor is the light at Woodville Pike. The Woodville Pike and Branch Hill Guinea Road intersections are less than 100 feet apart, and there is a traffic light at each.
The township has asked the transportation department to eliminate one of those lights and redirect Woodville so it will intersect with Branch Hill Guinea. Its plan would take up a parking lot owned by two businesses and force the relocation of a gas station on a corner of Woodville and 28.
ODOT officials contend they don't make those kinds of changes - even at a municipality's request.
Now, trustees have enlisted the help of state Rep. Jean Schmidt, R-Miami Township, to persuade ODOT.
But as of Tuesday, ODOT had not acquiesced.
"All we can do is wait," said township Trustee Joe Uecker.
Added Trustee Ed Humphrey: "The traffic lights are so close together ... and it appears that you're going to get caught by one or another, and that just slows the traffic moving on 28."
Eichinger said she has also seen drivers get confused because the lights are so close together.
Removing one and aligning the intersections would seem reasonable.
"This would make traffic along 28 a lot better," Eichinger said.
"I'm not sure how it would affect traffic along Woodville, but that I could live with."
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