July 31, 2014

Medina
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Medina council to vote on a traffic signals study

MEDINA — The city is one step closer to retiming traffic lights on Public Square and throughout the historic district.

City Council’s Finance Committee approved a contract with a consulting firm Monday night, and the measure is headed for a Council vote Oct. 10.

Law Director Greg Huber said the contract needs some minor language changes before it goes to Council.

The lights were part of a citywide traffic light project in 2006. The timing was set by the contractor when they were installed, City Engineer Pat Patton said.

“I never thought we fully optimized the signals,” he said Monday night. “I think we can do better than how it is right now.”

In April, he said part of the project required the contractor to run a number of passes through the system and time them.

“I don’t want to say people will be able to sail through the intersection with nothing but green lights, but we look to reduce delays caused by congestion and improve upon efficiency,” he said in April.

Patton said a traffic engineer will look at ways to increase effectiveness during an eight-week study of 13 traffic lights.

The city will pay for the study with funds remaining from the $4.7 million 2006 upgrade.

An Ohio Department of Transportation grant paid for 80 percent of the work and the city covered the rest.

About $36,000 of the city’s portion was reimbursed after the project came in under budget, Patton said.

Council agreed in March to use the remaining money for the study.

The 2006 project included upgrades to 36 signals in the city and three in Medina Township. Four signals in the city were removed and six new ones were installed. Traffic signals were installed, upgraded or replaced at 41 intersections.

Since the project’s completion, Patton said the city has received complaints about the efficiency of the signals, particularly during peak traffic hours.

“This is definitely going to be a challenge,” he said. “This is a really tough area. There are four state routes and West Smith all converge onto the square and it causes problems. We want to see decreased congestion and increased efficiency.”

Contact Dani Orr at (330) 721-4049 or dorr@medina-gazette.com.