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Published: Friday, 5/7/2004

Lucas County charts new map in the form of a 30-page atlas

BY DAVID PATCH
BLADE STAFF WRITER

The Lucas County engineer's office will release its new county road map today and, for the first time, it's in the form of an atlas.

In 30 pages, the atlas features 21 sectional maps, an overview map in the centerfold, and a separate map of downtown Toledo, along with the usual index and other information.

The reason for the change from a single-sheet, fold-up map to an atlas is simple, Mark Drennen, administrative deputy, said: readability.

"With more and more subdivisions, the print was becoming smaller and smaller," he said.

The format change was encouraged by area emergency-services departments, Mr. Drennen added, because the atlas is much easier to handle and read inside a vehicle than a fold-up map is.

The only drawback? It's too big for some gloveboxes - at least, not without some serious folding.

Copies are available to the public from both the county engineer's offices on the eighth floor of Government Center in downtown Toledo and the county garage at 2504 Detroit Ave., Maumee. The first copy is free to all Lucas County residents, while additional copies are $2. People wishing to pick them up at Government Center must bring photo identification to enter the building.

Those wishing to have atlases mailed to them will be charged $1.50 in shipping and postage for the first copy, with postage and handling for multicopy orders to be billed based on weight and the amount of packaging used.

The atlases cost about $80,000 to produce the first production run of 50,000, and the county has options to order 10,000 or 20,000 more if they're popular, Mr. Drennen said.

The engineer's office still has about 14,000 copies left from a 48,000-print run of the 2002-2003 fold-up county map, but the first-edition atlas is likely to be in heavier demand, he said.

The previous edition had been the first Lucas County map produced using a computer database, and it had some high-profile errors, including an accidental omission of a stretch of Laskey Road.

To reduce the chance of similar problems with the atlas, engineer staff invited local officials and others familiar with Lucas County geography to review prepublication proofs. But at least one error still crept through - Broadway just north of Glendale Avenue in Toledo is mislabeled as River Road.

"There are going to be mistakes," Mr. Drennen said. "I just hope they're not major ones."

The county engineer isn't the only agency announcing new maps this week.

Yesterday, the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority unveiled its new system map and user's guide, a fold-up pamphlet.

Along with the basic bus route information, the system map shows the locations of schools, libraries, senior centers, YMCA branches, park-and-ride lots, and shopping centers.

"The old version didn't even have the [Maumee] River on it. You can really navigate with this," said Jim Gee, TARTA's general manager.

Steve Atkinson, TARTA's marketing director, added that except for printing, all production work has been brought back inside the agency, so updates can be made more quickly and costs are reduced slightly.



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