Perrysburg City Council, by a 4-3 vote, approved a $24,000 contract with Proudfoot Associates, a Toledo-based civil engineering firm, to design a plan to modify the intersections of Cherry and Findlay streets and Findlay Street and Indiana Avenue.
Although about 40 people attended the meeting to express their concerns about the proposed changes, council continued its support of the estimated $225,000 improvement project, scheduled to begin sometime next year. The contract with Proudfoot will go into effect in 30 days.
Two months ago, acting on recommendations from its safety-service committee, council voted 5-1 to alter the two intersections, spaced only a few yards apart, and make Cherry Street, Findlay Street, and Indiana Avenue meet at one spot.
At the planned intersection, stop signs will be placed on Cherry and Findlay streets, while traffic on Indiana Avenue will be allowed to travel through.
The improvements also calls for reducing the slope of a hill located at the intersection, adding turning lanes on all three roads, and installing curbs, gutters, and swales to improve drainage in the area.
Tom Mackin, safety-service committee chairman, said the two intersections are "confusing, ineffective, and unsafe."
Mr. Mackin said Indiana Avenue is designed to handle traffic moving east and west through the city because the avenue is better able to support heavy traffic than a typical residential street.
But the confusing intersections along the avenue have made some motorists avoid the intersection altogether, creating an increase in traffic on other city streets that are not designed to sustain heavy use, he said.
Indiana Avenue "is supposed to take traffic, not force it somewhere else," Mr. Mackin said. "The project will allow for a smoother flow of traffic."
Diane Friess, who lives near the intersections on Indiana Avenue, asked the mayor to veto the ordinance after the council voted.
Mrs. Friess believes that the city's plans will destroy local and national history.
"It's the history of the area that I want to protect," Mrs. Friess said.
City Engineer Doug Dariano said the improvements are set to begin in 2005, but a start date has not been set. Mr. Dariano said the project could be completed in one construction season.