Marble Cliff Village Council agreed Monday night to replace the "children at play" signs on Fernwood Avenue with fluorescent "pedestrians using roadway" signs in an effort to help reduce the speed of motorists and increase the safety of people walking near Tarpy Woods Park.

Marble Cliff Village Council agreed Monday night to replace the "children at play" signs on Fernwood Avenue with fluorescent "pedestrians using roadway" signs in an effort to help reduce the speed of motorists and increase the safety of people walking near Tarpy Woods Park.

The new signs will be placed at the south and north property lines of the park to remind motorists that pedestrians may be crossing in the area.

Fluorescent signs will stand out more than traditional signs and cost less than the other options, village engineer Don Mapes told council.

Mapes reviewed for council an e-mail written by Burgess & Niple traffic engineer Steve Thieken, who examined the roadway and considered potential traffic calming options for Fernwood.

Thieken suggested that installing fluorescent signs, adding flashing lights and painting the word "slow" on the pavement to supplement the sign could help reduce motorists' speed.

However, he also said he didn't think those actions would have a significant impact on traffic speeds.

Although Fernwood has a posted speed limit of 15 miles per hour, technically, by Ohio Revised Code the appropriate speed limit for the street is 25 mph, Thieken stated in his e-mail.

"I would think it would be hard to enforce 15 mph," he said.

Speed bumps would probably be the only measure that would consistently reduce motorists' speeds on Fernwood, Thieken said.

But, he added, he would only install them "with extreme caution" without documenting there is a speed and/or safety problem on Fernwood.

The documentation would include counts of pedestrian crossing volumes and vehicular traffic and a study of vehicle speeds, Thieken stated in his e-mail. In addition, crash reports could be reviewed to indicate if the location has a history of pedestrian crashes.

"Frankly, I suspect that we would not be able to document a problem here, but I could be wrong," he said.

If traffic control or calming devices were installed on Fernwood without documentation showing a problem, it could be difficult to deny residents' requests for similar measures on other streets and the devices could become overused, Thieken said.

Placing a raised crosswalk on Fernwood does not seem appropriate, he said. Because there are no sidewalks and traffic volumes are low, it is doubtful people would use it.

In other business, council approved funding service projects twin brothers proposed for Tarpy Woods Park.

Marble Cliff residents Carson and Eric Dull, students at Grandview Heights High School, proposed doing the work as Eagle Scout projects.

Council agreed to appropriate up to $600 for Eric Dull's project to build a new path in the park. Dull's preferred location for the path is a couple yards east of the existing path. Drainage issues often result in the existing path becoming muddy.

Council also agreed to appropriate up to $650 for Carson Dull's project to build a fence to separate the public/private properties at the park. The fence would be about 90 feet long.

Both brothers told council they expect to be able to complete their project in July or August.

afroman@thisweeknews.com