Learning curve at roundabout PDF Print E-mail
Written by MARIE THOMAS BAIRD Sentinel Education Editor   
Thursday, 06 December 2012 10:51
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Traffic moves around the new roundabout in North Baltimore. (Photo: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
NORTH BALTIMORE - The roundabout at the south end of the village is meant to allow a smooth flow of traffic with the completion of the new Ohio 18, but that doesn't mean drivers yet understand it.
"They seem to think the yield is for anyone but them," said Mayor Mike Julien at Tuesday's village council meeting.
One of the concerns talked about is the 50 miles per hour speed limit through there. And there are no caution signs alerting drivers to take it slow.
There have not yet been any accidents at the roundabout, said police Chief Allan Baer, as he knocked his knuckles on the wood wall behind him.
Whoever gets in the road first, he said, has the right of way.
"Everyone I've stopped says 'I don't know what to do,'" said Baer. "When people get it, it flows. You see how great it can be."
But others are confused, said Julien.
The main problem, according to the chief, are drivers southbound on Main Street who want to go east on Rt. 18. Instead of going to the right and around the circle, drivers are turning left, crossing the double yellow line into the wrong way on the roundabout.
Julien said he will contact the Ohio Department of Transportation to see if additional signage can be put on Rt. 18 and South Main Street approaching the roundabout.
A roundabout is a circular intersection in which road traffic is slowed and flows almost continuously in one direction around a central island to several exits onto the various intersecting roads, according to the Web site RoundaboutsUSA.com.
Entering traffic must always yield to traffic already in the circle.
There are currently around 3,500 roundabouts operating in the United States that were constructed since 1990. In Wood County, the only other roundabout is on the Owens Community College campus. They're becoming very popular in the Franklin and Delaware counties area.
Also at Tuesday's meeting, council again discussed its concerns with the village's Tree Commission, and its lack of reporting to council.
The commission gets $18,000 annually to maintain trees in the village, money obtained through tax dollars. But council has yet seen a budget or bylaws for the group.
The issue was again raised when Councilman Bill Cameron noted that Myers Tree Service had been paid $1,775 to take down three trees and remove six stumps. The trees had been storm damaged.
Councilman Jeff Bretz pulled out the bill to learn that two of the trees were on West Water Street and one was on North East Street.
Councilman Aaron Patterson was of the impression the commission could spend money however it wants, and that council needs to see a budget each year. He added that the commission needs to run like the village's other departments.
Julien pointed out that the ordinance that created the commission was worded such that the group could operated on its own without being micromanaged by council. But he agreed to ask a commission representative to council's Committee of the Whole meeting Tuesday to discuss concerns.
Council also agreed to use Henry County Bank to finance the purchase of a new pumper truck and equipment. Taxes will be collected over 10 years to pay the $440,000 purchase price. Kathy Healy, village administrator, said the bank offered a 10-year fixed interest rate of 3.10 percent.

Last Updated on Thursday, 06 December 2012 11:15
 

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