Drivers, pay attention: Starting tomorrow, the intersection of State Rt. 64 and State Rt. 295 west of Whitehouse will be a four-way stop.
The intersection has been a two-way stop, with stop signs on Rt. 295. Last week, the Ohio Department of Transportation set out signs on the approaches to the intersection to announce the change.
Whitehouse Fire Chief Daryl McNutt said the change would improve safety at the intersection. "It'll slow the traffic down, and we won't have people running the intersection like we do now," he said.
To determine the safety measures that are needed at intersections, ODOT considers traffic volume and the number and type of crashes at the location, ODOT spokesman Joe Rutherford said.
The Rt. 64-Rt. 295 intersection met the requirements, or warrants, necessary to become a four-way stop, but not for a traffic light.
"For a long time, people have been calling for a traffic signal to be installed there," Mr. Rutherford said. "The warrants have not been met for that."
Mr. Rutherford said ODOT had made previous improvements to the intersection like installing larger stop signs on Rt. 295 and signs warning drivers that cross traffic does not stop. But the intersection still had enough serious accidents to become a four-way stop, ODOT traffic engineer Michael Stormer said.
"We've had our fair share of accidents there, that's for sure," Whitehouse Chief McNutt said.
He said there had been a number of serious injuries there, though he could not recall any fatal accidents.
He said the State Highway Patrol, the village police department, and the Lucas County Sheriff's Office had requested that the safety of the intersection be improved.
"It's been a long time coming, and I'm glad to see it's here," he said.
Now, both sides of both roads have stop signs, with red flashing lights on the left-hand signs. On Rt. 64, "stop ahead" signs warn motorists of the upcoming stop. The yellow flashing lights above the signs will remain for 30 days. ODOT workers are also removing vegetation at the intersection.
Mr. Rutherford said the situation is similar to a Fulton County intersection of State Rt. 64 and a county road that was made a four-way stop two years ago.
"That is working well," he said.