To the Editor: Lake trustees explain need for traffic light

The Lake Township Trustees would like to address some of the misconceptions mentioned in letters to the
local papers regarding actions we have taken on Ohio 51 and Millbury Road.
The trustees have been receiving requests from the residents and business owners of the Millbury area for
a traffic light at Route 51 and Millbury Road for over 12 years. These are the folks and businesses who
live and work in close proximity to the intersection and face the daily decision to use or avoid this
intersection. By their statements over the years it has become clear that many residents simply avoid
this intersection because of the angled design which impairs the visual acumen of many drivers.
The traffic signal warrant system used by ODOT does not survey the local residents on how many avoid a
dangerous intersection, or compile a computer scenario of the near-misses or unreported accidents that
occur at such an angled intersection. As such, in determining the feasibility of a traffic light under
this warrant system, an accurate assessment is not possible.
During one of the several public meetings the trustees have discussed the intersection’s perpetual
problems, it was pointed out that under the ODOT system, dozens of people could be injured in a years
period of time and the system would not justify any traffic light. This seems to deify any common sense.
During these meetings the trustees have received unanimous support from the public in attendance for a
traffic light.
Another concern is that the intersection is a Code Red (main emergency vehicle route taken) intersection
for our emergency services when traveling to the northern section of the township. In fact our EMS,
police and fire personnel has been very strong proponents for the installation of a traffic light. They
are the first responders to the accidents at the intersection and along Route 51.
A further concern, and one also expressed by the Lake Board of Education is that during the school year
children are transported eight times daily in buses through this intersection.
On the issue of lowering the speed limit on the only 55 mph section of State Route 51 in Wood County.
This section of State Route 51 is more akin to that of an urban roadway and the Trustees have made the
decision for the public convenience, welfare and most importantly public safety to request the speed
limit be reduced. The Township’s police accident records show that forty-nine (49) accidents have
occurred along State Route 51 in just the past five years, these are accidents that happen with a 55 mph
speed limit.
Finally, for the above mention reasons the trustees feel that the decisions they have taken are for the
greater good, welfare and safety of the whole community in which we live.
Lake Township Trustees
Melanie Bowen
Richard Welling
Ron Sims