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County seeks ODOT’s help with intersections

FPS staff report

Carroll County officials said Monday they continue to ask the Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) to improve signage at intersections of state routes in Carroll County.

Carrollton resident Tom Konst visited commissioners during their Monday meeting asking them to “please speak with ODOT officials about installing flashing lights at dangerous intersections.”

He specifically listed the intersections of State Routes (SR) 171 and 43 and the intersection of SR. 171 and Cobbler Rd. with SR 9, both on the north side of Carrollton.

Konst noted two people have died within the last four months in these two intersections. ”With the increased truck traffic in the area, we have to do something. If you have to get the state reps involved to get something done, do so.”

Konst, who spent 15 years as a member of the Carroll County Regional Planning Commission, said he knew the county has asked for lights at the intersections for many years in their State Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) request. “How many people have to die before something will be done?” Konst asked.

Commissioner Tom Wheaton agreed. “Every year we included it in the STIP and it’s fallen on deaf ears,” said.

Wheaton said he discussed the matter with Vince Carter, superintendent at the Carroll County ODOT garage in late December.  Carter said a local safety committee has been organized and something may be done on the local level.

Wheaton said he asked for the LED solar-lit signs at those intersections as well as where traffic from SR 39 yields to traffic on SR 9 and 43 just southeast of Carrollton on what is known as “Town Hill.”

Wheaton said Regional Planning Director Aaron Dodds has completed extensive research on the requests and is composing a letter that will be submitted to ODOT. 

Sheriff Dale Williams said the number of traffic accidents in Carroll County increased by 81 during 2012.

“I’m attributing it to the increase in traffic in our county due to the oil and gas industry,” Williams said.

Last year his department investigated 373 accidents in the county and the Ohio State Highway Patrol investigated 152 for a total of 525.

“From what I hear the traffic is going to get worse with the construction of pipelines and increased drilling activity in the county,” Williams said. “I have added deputies to the department and which should allow us to handle traffic accidents in a more timely manner.”

He urged residents to be more cautious when driving. “We are used to living in a rural county without a lot of traffic,” he said. “Times are changing. As drivers we need to be more cautious on the highway and watch out for the other guy as well as ourselves.”

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