U-turns designed to alleviate Wilmington Pike traffic jams

A U-turn lane under construction is designed to reduce future traffic backups on Wilmington Pike.

The U-turn concept — called a loon because of its shape — won’t be enough, according to some residents, to improve the backups for motorists in the Centerville, Sugarcreek Twp. and Kettering area.

“I just wish when developers come in with their big plans and stuff they’d keep in mind the people who’re already here,” said Centerville resident Daniel Apanaswicz.

The U-turns on Wilmington will widen the road in spots in an effort to alleviate congestion.

“Median openings would be provided at minor intersections to allow vehicles to negotiate a U-turn at intervals” of about 1,000 feet, according to the plan. “The median though would be constructed across twelve public streets and many driveways along Wilmington Pike, effectively blocking through and left turning movements, and converting the drives to a right-in/right-out drive.”

The concept is used in residential areas on Ackerman Boulevard, and Bigger, David and Rahn roads, according to the corridor plan.

Vehicle volume along Wilmington is 37,000 per day north of Dorothy Lane and 26,000 per day south of it, Kettering records show.

Apanaswicz said Wilmington Pike has nonstop traffic and delays from 3 to 6:30 p.m. A big complaint from residents is that motorists routinely turn around in their driveways, a practice that the U-turn is designed to stop.

Centerville Engineer James Brinegar said the city is not ruling out other options.

“We will continue to look at the traffic volumes at Brown Road and Wilmington Pike and if a signal is warranted we will look at possible installation,” he said.

North of Interstate 675 in the area of the Cornerstone development, Centerville’s capital improvement budget has $2.9 million designated this year for Wilmington road widening and reconstruction to accommodate future traffic.

The city also has $8.3 million allocated for those issues in 2018, documents show.