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Published: Tuesday, 9/8/2009

Lower State Rt. 51 speed limit proposed in Lake Township

BY JULIE M. McKINNON
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Following a request from Lake Township trustees worried about vehicle accidents, the Ohio Department of Transportation has proposed lowering the speed limit on State Rt. 51 between Fostoria and Pemberville roads by five miles an hour.

ODOT proposed lowering the speed limit on that stretch of the roadway to 50 miles per hour while keeping the speed limit at 45 miles per hour between Pemberville Road and the Northwood city line. It also has proposed other changes along State Rt. 51, including installing a no-passing zone between Millbury Road and Cason Street.

Trustees had requested the speed limit be lowered to 35 miles per hour for all of State Rt. 51 in Lake Township - and hoped for a reduction to 45 miles per hour - but this is a start, Trustee Richard Welling said.

"If the accidents don't go down, we'll make another request," Mr. Welling said. "We'll see how this works."

Township trustees and residents have been troubled by speeding and accidents along State Rt. 51. That worry increased earlier this year after two multivehicle accidents, including a fatality, happened near State Rt. 51's intersection with Millbury Road.

ODOT has turned down the township's request for a traffic signal at that intersection. Trustees still wants a traffic signal there, Mr. Welling said.

Lake Township trustees were notified of the results of ODOT's speed study and its proposals last week. The report looked at accidents at 19 intersections along State Rt. 51 in Lake Township and made other reviews, according to the letter.

The state needs to keep speed zones consistent throughout the state as officials formulate proposals from such requests, officials said.

ODOT is awaiting the township's response, Michael Stormer, an ODOT district planning engineer, said.

After ODOT and Lake Township trustees reach an agreement on changes, a timeline will be established to make them, Theresa Pollick, ODOT spokesman, said.

Other proposed ODOT changes to help prevent accidents along State Rt. 51 include:

•Installing "intersection ahead" road signs on either side of intersections with Fostoria, Bradner, and Walbridge roads.

•Upgrade existing "intersection ahead" road signs on either side of the intersection with Pemberville Road.

•Use pavement markings at Fostoria Road to "square up" the intersection, as was done earlier this year at Millbury Road

•At Fostoria Road, add "cross traffic does not stop" signs below existing stop signs.

Last week, meanwhile, Lake Township trustees started working on plans to attract employers to a recently formed joint economic development district near Metcalf Field and help employers nearby. The district, which was formed with Toledo, is on about 320 acres of city-owned property.

A Web site is being set up to address business development and list job openings at area existing businesses, Mr. Welling said.

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