Wednesday, November 26, 2003

Safety an issue at busy corner



By John Kiesewetter
The Cincinnati Enquirer

FAIRFIELD - With more people coming to the new Village Green Park in the center of town each year, city leaders want to make sure everyone can get there safely.

"We've got a great thing going on here," said Councilman Steve Miller. "I don't want to see someone hit by a car."

Miller suggests an illuminated crosswalk with lights embedded in Wessel Drive, linking the new Symmes Tavern on the Green restaurant in the new downtown complex with the park and Lane Public Library branch.

The city's new retail-recreation center, southeast of Nilles Road and Pleasant Avenue, also has attracted Kroger, Radio Shack, Fifth Third Bank, Applebee's and the Chaco Credit Union. Miller worries that the area will become more congested when the performing arts center opens next year.

"Every year, it gets bigger and bigger," Miller said. "I just wanted us (council) to take a look at this now... and make sure people are safe."

According to a city study, nearly 14,000 vehicles used Wessel Drive in a three-day period, Friday-Sunday July 11-13. The heaviest day was Friday (5,871), said John Belanger, city traffic analyst.

Speed doesn't appear to be an issue. The average speed clocked on July 15 was 28 mph, 3 mph over the posted speed limit, Belanger said.

No traffic accidents have been reported on Wessel near the park, Belanger said.

During the council's work session this week, Miller also mentioned the possibility of installing speed bumps on Wessel Drive. But some residents said bumps would hurt the thriving business district.

"Speed bumps aren't the answer. I think they would deter traffic away," said resident Marc Anderson.

The city's Traffic Advisory Committee will make a recommendation to council. At the same time, Mayor Erick Cook told Miller to place a $22,000 request for the lighted crosswalk into next year's capital improvement budget.

E-mail jkiesewetter@enquirer .com




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