Trotwood gets $1M of $51M state effort on road and pedestrian safety

The city of Trotwood acquired grant money to upgrade the intersection of Olive Rd. and SR 49. Jim Noelker/Staff

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The city of Trotwood acquired grant money to upgrade the intersection of Olive Rd. and SR 49. Jim Noelker/Staff

The City of Trotwood received nearly $1 million from the Ohio Department of Transportation to add sidewalks along Olive Road and add pedestrian enhancements at the intersection of Olive and Ohio 49 — just north of Consumer Square and the former Salem Mall area.

The $987,000 grant will provide better accessibility along the highly used corridor, according to ODOT. The intersection will be made ADA-compliant, will get better striping and signage, and the “walk button” will be moved to be more accessible.

The project is a part of a $51 million statewide initiative to improve traffic safety and to stop fatal pedestrian-involved and “roadway departure” traffic crashes.

ODOT statistics found that fatal crashes involving pedestrians and roadway departures in Ohio were at their highest over the last decade in 2021. About 700 people were killed and 4,000 seriously injured in roadway-departure crashes and 176 pedestrians were killed in traffic crashes last year, according to ODOT.

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The city of Trotwood acquired grant money to upgrade the intersection of Olive Road and Ohio 49. Jim Noelker/Staff

The city of Trotwood acquired grant money to upgrade the intersection of Olive Road and Ohio 49. Jim Noelker/Staff

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The city of Trotwood acquired grant money to upgrade the intersection of Olive Road and Ohio 49. Jim Noelker/Staff

“This is a serious problem, and we certainly believe that distracted driving is contributing to this alarming increase in pedestrian-involved and roadway-departure crashes,” Gov. Mike DeWine said in a statement announcing multiple projects. “The funding we’re awarding today, most of which is going to local governments, will be used to make the physical changes needed to help prevent crashes.

“But a cultural change around distracted driving is needed as well,” DeWine continued. “I continue to encourage members of the Ohio General Assembly to pass legislation to put more restrictions around mobile device usage while driving to make it clear that distracted driving won’t be tolerated in Ohio.”

Trotwood Deputy City Manager Stephanie Kellum said the Olive Road area is seeing changes including a new truck driving school, bus routes and population density in the area, and adding sidewalks along the road will address safety concerns for pedestrians.

“The sidewalks will extend to the intersection of Olive Road and Shiloh Springs, as well,” Kellum said. “This will provide for pedestrian safety along this now well-traveled road.”

She said there have been pedestrian crashes in the area in the past. Construction could begin next year, Kellum said, pending ODOT’s approval.

Other project grants

Other local projects receiving funding were Hamilton getting $135,000 for the installation of rapid flashing beacons throughout the city and Fairborn getting $10,000 to install enhanced crossings near Yellow Springs-Fairfield Road and Sports Street.

Clark County got $1.3 million from ODOT to help widen shoulders and move fixed objects along Spangler Road. The safety improvement project headed by the Clark County Engineer’s Office will address a number of issues on Spangler Road including flooding on the road.

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The section of roadway from South Union Road northward to the small bridge just south of the traffic signal at Main Street in Medway is within a flood zone that causes the roadway to flood during high water events, which has contributed to standing water and wet pavement crashes, according to a 2020 study of the area by the Clark County Engineer Office.

More than 30 crashes were reported on Spangler Road in the area from Restoration Park Drive to Lower Valley between 2016 and 2018, the study found. The safety improvement project on Spangler Road will shift the road’s intersection with Union Road further north.

Clark County Engineer Johnathan Burr said a preliminary cost estimate for the construction of the project is $6.1 million. Construction is expected to begin in 2025.

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Several inches of rain flows across Spangler Road in Clark County forcing the County to close it due to all the rain Thursday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Several inches of rain flows across Spangler Road in Clark County forcing the County to close it due to all the rain Thursday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

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Several inches of rain flows across Spangler Road in Clark County forcing the County to close it due to all the rain Thursday. BILL LACKEY/STAFF

Credit: Bill Lackey

Credit: Bill Lackey

Overall, the $51 million is going towards 44 roadway safety projects in 32 counties, the governor said.

“Of the total funds, ODOT will invest $25.6 million into roadway-departure prevention projects such as widening roadway shoulders, installing center and edge-line rumble strips, and modifying ditches and culverts,” the governor’s office said. “Incidents of drivers leaving the travel lane and sideswiping another vehicle, hitting an oncoming vehicle, or colliding with an object on the side of the road typically cause more than half of all traffic deaths and nearly half of all serious traffic injuries in Ohio each year.”

About $25.5 million will also go toward projects like sidewalks and improving pedestrian crossings to protect pedestrians.

“Because crashes involving pedestrians are more common on roadways that lack dedicated infrastructure such as sidewalks, paths, and marked crossings, ODOT will invest the remaining $25.5 million in pedestrian projects like sidewalks, high-visibility pedestrian crossings, and road “diets” which reduce the number and width of traffic lanes to prompt drivers to slow down,” the governor’s office said.

Staff writer Sydney Dawes contributed to this report

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