Perrysburg roadwork signs lack direction
Written by By WILL MALONE Sentinel Staff Writer
Wednesday, 21 October 2009 10:54
PERRYSBURG - Confusion surrounding traffic signs on Fort Meigs Road have residents wondering where to turn for clear direction.
Since Monday of last week, city police officers have filled ticket books with more than 50 citations for failure to obey a traffic control device or for driving on a closed roadway between Coe Court and Eckel Junction Road, where the city is working on a major rebuild of Fort Meigs Road that will yield three lanes with drainage improvements.
Three residents, who live in the subdivision off of Coe Court, told city council Tuesday that mixed signals about permitted traffic in the area were unfairly costing families who are trying to leave and return to their homes.
Alan Piotrowski, Tricia Court, said his wife was first stopped and told by an officer that she could pass through the zone to reach her house. The next time, his wife was warned for using the road. He said his wife was told by a sergeant that both officers were correct in their judgment. She was cited at a cost of $180 after using the road a third time.
Piotrowski's wife, Bonnie, said she was told by the third officer that he had already written roughly 75 tickets in the area.
"Somebody should take into consideration the hardship of people that live back there," Alan Piotrowski said, adding that people who do not live in the area would be justly cited for driving in the construction area.
Roger Wright, a McKinley Drive resident who was cited at 6 a.m. on Oct. 13, said he has seen inconsistent enforcement in the area. He wanted to know when officers stopped issuing warnings.
"I understand the citation I got, and I know why I got it," he said. "But I feel there's a point in time where, if you're going to start giving citations, you need to continue giving them."
Danielle McDowell, Logan Lane, said she was seen and not stopped by an officer as she left her home and exited the neighborhood through the construction area. When she was later cited for entering the area again, she said the officer was "rather short" with her.
Mayor Nelson Evans told the residents that the city engineer was working on making a clearer sign. He said local traffic - originating or ending in the zone - includes two residences, the township fire station and a park entrance. He said the restriction on thru-traffic pertains to traffic that would pass through the zone entirely to reach an intended destination.
"We are going to try to clarify that sign," so that people driving northbound would see a sign allowing no access to Eckel Junction, and people driving south would see a sign that restricted access to Coe Court.
City Engineer Douglas Dariano said, when reached by telephone for comment before the meeting, that local traffic also includes access to some soccer fields. The project includes a complete tear-out of the old road, he said. As a result, manholes that stick up four or five inches above ground and unclear road markings pose a danger to drivers in the construction zone.
Lt. Dave Weaver, spokesperson for the police division, said before the meeting that people leaving the McKinley Woods subdivision could detour south to Levis Commons or Roachton Road but could not drive between the subdivision and Eckel Junction Road.
"We started out by giving warnings when this all started, and then ... people have continued to drive through there," he said. "And especially when workers are present, it just gets a little too dicey. So, just for the safety of everybody involved, we've been" strict on enforcing the signs.
Evans said he discussed the inconsistency issues raised by the Piotrowskis with the police chief, who would be "looking into that." The mayor said he intended to follow up with the chief about any possible "attitude" issues during traffic stops.
Responding to a suggestion from council member Maria Ermie, he said the city prosecutor could be apprised of the confusion among residents near the construction zone but that the judge ultimately will decide upon any possible concession.
"At best, we've been guilty of erratic law enforcement," council member Joe Rutherford said.
In other action, council
¥ Accepted the application for the Davis II annexation, located on Ohio 25 between Gloria Street and Lincoln Boulevard, with Rutherford abstaining.
¥ Approved purchase of three Crown Victoria police cruisers from Statewide Ford Inc. at a cost not to exceed $63,489.
¥ Heard from member Tom Mackin, Finance Committee chair, that tax collections were down 24 percent from last October and 1 percent year-to-date.
¥ Approved the issuance and sale of one-year notes in the amount of $7.54 million for various city improvement projects at an interest rate of 1.25 percent.