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Roundabout or light at dangerous intersection: County wants your opinion

Montgomery County is considering placing a traffic light or roundabout at one of the most congested intersections in the county, and officials are seeking public feedback.

The county has been considering changes to the Alex Bell-Mad River roads intersection in Washington Twp., which is now a four-way stop, since June 2017 and conducted a traffic survey to determine how to resolve congestion and safety issues. The intersection is one of the top crash locations in the county, officials said.

MORE: What are the most dangerous intersections in the Miami Valley?

The project is in the early design stages, according to county officials.

The Montgomery County Engineers Office will hold a public meeting on Wednesday, June 20 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. to present information and allow citizens to make comments and ask questions.

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“We will be considering that feedback before we make any decisions,” Montgomery County Engineer Paul Gruner said.

Gruner said the intersection is the second or third top crash location in the county. About 9,000 people travel on each road daily. Either a roundabout or traffic light would improve the intersection’s traffic flow and safety, he said.

A roundabout would be cheaper than a traffic light and would be safer, Gruner said. Roundabouts force drivers to move more slowly, reducing both the number of collisions and the speed involved in them.

Not all residents are enthusiastic about changes to the intersection. M.J. Erickson, a Washington Twp. resident who lives near the intersection, said she doesn’t mind driving through it. She said it only gets backed up during rush hour from about 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“I don’t know that it’s broken,” Erickson said. “I would rather not fix what’s not broken.”

The traffic isn’t bad enough for Erickson to avoid the intersection, but she said she would support change to the intersection if data show that it’s dangerous. She said she likes the intersection as it is because people seem to work together well to cross it, which she hopes fosters a sense of community.

“It’s part of life,” she said. “You wait a few minutes at an intersection.”

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