A group of residents is concerned that a gateway into the city of Grandview Heights is becoming a speedway.
The residents, who live on or near Grandview Avenue between Goodale Boulevard and First Avenue, say they have noticed what they believe is an increase in both the volume and speed of traffic, Teri Alexander said.
Alexander, who has lived at the corner of Grandview and Inglis avenues for three decades, said the changing traffic flow is troublesome to her and her neighbors.
"What we've noticed is that we have an issue in the amount of traffic, traffic signals being ignored and what seems to us to be more people who are driving in excess of the speed limit," she said.
"We know that the police can't be there all the time, but we think there are some things the city could consider to help the situation," Alexander said.
The neighbors have met twice to discuss their concerns and talk about potential solutions, she said.
Last month, numerous residents who live along Grandview Avenue posted signs in their yards to alert motorists that the speed limit is 25 mph on Grandview Avenue between First Avenue and the top of the hill near the entrance to the Municipal Building and fire station.
"There's only one (street) sign posted on either side showing the speed limit is 25 mph," Alexander said. "We'd like to see more speed-limit signs posted.
"The city could add a second flashing 25-mph speed-limit sign that would also show the speed that you are going," she said. "It would be a distinct reminder to people that they need to slow down. There are signs like that up in Upper Arlington and Columbus."
Another suggestion is to reduce the speed limit on Grandview Avenue from Goodale Boulevard to the top of the hill from 35 to 25 mph.
"It's confusing for people and doesn't make sense to have two speed limits on Grandview Avenue," Alexander said. "Motorists are going 35 mph to get up the hill from Goodale and once they reach the top of the hill, they're maintaining that speed so they can beat the light at Grandview and First Avenue."
Too often, motorists simply run the red light, ignore the "no right turn on red" sign at the intersection or cut through Mulford Road and Inglis Avenue to avoid the signal, she said.
One idea residents have suggested is that the signal at Grandview and First be programmed to include a "walk-only" period during each cycle, Alexander said.
"We know money is always an issue, but we think these are all worthy of consideration and implementing if possible," she said.
Other options the residents have suggested include:
* Providing better signs before the intersection of Grandview Avenue and Goodale Boulevard, especially for northbound traffic.
"A lot of people don't realize they need to be in the center lane to go straight and they end up in the left-turn lane at the traffic light," Alexander said. "Some of them end up forcing their way into the center lane, and that can be dangerous."
* Improve the fire-station signal at the entrance to the Municipal Building site.
* Designate bike lanes on either side of Grandview Avenue.
* Add a pedestrian crosswalk near Mulford Road.
* Place speed humps on Inglis Avenue between Grandview and Glendale avenues.
* Place four-way stops at all cross streets off Grandview Avenue to help slow motorists and deter cut-through traffic.
As part of an ongoing program to evaluate traffic patterns on all local streets, the city measured traffic volume and speed for both northbound and southbound traffic on Grandview Avenue between Terrace Drive and First Avenue.
The traffic counter was in place between 5:30 a.m. Aug. 11 and 5:30 a.m. Aug. 16.
The total count and average speed for northbound from Terrace to First was 26,863 vehicles and the average speed was 32 mph.
For southbound traffic from First to Terrace, the overall count was 26,599 vehicles with an average speed of 29 mph.
The data indicate that traffic speed may not be as fast as residents think, Mayor Ray DeGraw said.
"People on almost any street believe the cars that drive down their road are speeding," he said. "If you're standing still and watching a car go by, it's hard to evaluate just how fast it's going."
But Alexander said residents can tell when a car is traveling especially fast.
"I understand what the mayor is saying, but you don't need a traffic counter to tell when someone is driving 40 or 45 mph in a 25-mph zone," she said. "We see that far too often. Hopefully, it's not going to end up in a tragedy someday."
The city conducts traffic counts on about 20 to 25 roads each year, DeGraw said.
Each street is monitored for at least five days, 24 hours a day, he said.
"We're looking at both the volume of traffic and the speed at which they are traveling," DeGraw said. "The data is broken down into 15-minute increments for each 24-hour period."
For the most part, the traffic counts are showing that excessive speed is not a major problem in Grandview, DeGraw said.
"The one road where we have seen an issue is Broadview Avenue (between First and Goodale)," he said.
"You have the hill going down to Goodale, and it's such a wide road that motorists have more of a tendency to speed," DeGraw said.
The city is considering potential options for addressing traffic on that section of Broadview, he said.
The city's traffic advisory committee provides a forum for discussion of traffic-related issues, DeGraw said.
"The group meets infrequently; there's no real set schedule," he said. "When we have an issue to talk about, we'll schedule a meeting."
The committee's next meeting was scheduled for Sept. 19, and Grandview Avenue residents were invited to bring their concerns to the group, said Patrik Bowman, the city's director of administration/economic development.
In 2017, the city adopted a traffic advisory plan that lays out a set of nationally recognized evaluation criteria regarding traffic issues and designates a process through which residents can formally raise traffic concerns, the issue is reviewed and potential traffic-calming options are considered and adopted.
"We wanted to set up a process so that everyone would know their issue and their street would be treated the same way as any other street," Bowman said. "We were looking to take the emotion out of the issue and ensure that everyone would be treated fairly."
The traffic plan provides a way that suggestions such as those offered by the Grandview Avenue residents can be evaluated using clear-cut criteria, he said.
"We can take a look at a suggested action and determine if it is warranted and feasible," Bowman said.