PERRYSBURG — Council’s safety committee listened to complaints from Maple Street residents whose “children at play” signs were removed by the planning and zoning department.
Tim Goligoski and other residents took to the podium Tuesday to air their grievances against the city and what they call an unaddressed safety issue.
“My wife and I have lived on Maple Street for 32 years and raised two daughters there. For all those years we have had a serious safety problem on Maple Street with cars, trucks and boat trailers speeding back and forth from the city dock,” Goligoski said.
There are 14 children who live on the street, but the residents feel it is also a problem for walkers. The road has a large hill overlooking the Maumee River that ends in a boat launch.
They believe that hill prevents drivers from seeing what might be just on the other side. While the official speed limit is 25 mph, there is a second sign a short distance beyond the first for 10 mph, which residents believed to be regularly ignored.
Resident Maija Fish, who came to the podium with her 4-month-old son Johnny Fish IV, said there are many distracted drivers who appear to be texting on their way to the boat launch.
“I know traffic cameras don’t look at how many people are looking at their phones,” Fish said.
A recent speed study confirms residents’ suspicions.
The speed study was compared to an Aug. 2018 study. In 2018 there were 545 vehicles and the study done last weekend showed at least 1,000 vehicles passed the traffic camera between Friday and Tuesday morning. While 95% of the drivers were clocked at speeds less than 25 mph, the maximum speeds were previously 33 mpg and now are as high as 48 mph.
“We want to make sure we’re working with the residents,” said Police Chief Patrick Jones.
Since the complaint, he has also had officers walking the street and watching from their cruisers.
According to City Administrator Bridgette Kabat the “children at play” signs were removed because the department had received a complaint of unofficial signs in use. The residents purchased the signs themselves off online and posted them along the street on city property.
It was acknowledged that in the 32 years there have been two traffic-control signs posted by the city. One of those signs, a redirection notice for wave runner owners to use Orleans Park, disappeared several years ago.
In response to the most recent complaints about the sign removal a list of requests has been submitted.
Residents are requesting that the city:
• Perform a comprehensive traffic study.
• Install a flashing sign indicating an exceeded speed limit.
• Enhance traffic enforcement, possibly including a part time police officer to manage traffic.
• Put in speed bumps.
• Issue a zoning variance permitting “children at play” signs.
• Relocate the wave runner launching to Orleans Park.
“We can’t really wait for a study,”said Councilman Barry VanHoozen, chairman of the safety committee. “We need a fix right now.”
VanHoozen promised that he and fellow committee members Deborah Born and Jim Matuszak would be following up on suggestions and looking for other possible solutions.
“I’m a fan of temporary speed bumps, but they might not be viable,” VanHoozen said. “So tonight we have no solutions. All I can say is that we won’t let this go.”