WADSWORTH: The Safety Committee Monday reluctantly recommended City Council increase the speed limit from the present 35 mph to 45 mph on High Street from Reimer Road East to the northern city limits.
Adopted by a 2-1 vote with committee member John Sharkey voting "no" and members Tim Eberling and Susan Hanlon voting "yes" with reservations, the committee recommended the proposal be read three times by the council before a decision is made. The three readings will provide time for official and public input.
All members of the committee and Safety Director Matt Hiscock expressed concerns about the proposed increase suggested by the Ohio Department of Transportation. ODOT arrived at its recommendation based upon a speed study of the area done for the city.
Hiscock recommended Valley View to the northern city limits be 25 mph and sent his reasons for that proposal to ODOT.
ODOT analyzed a speed study completed by GPD Associates in relation to the engineering study concerning the proposed improvements to High Street in the Great Oaks Business District.
Taking the speed study and concerns expressed by Hiscock into account, ODOT suggested the limit from Valley View to Reimer Road West be 35 mph and from Reimer Road West to the northern city boundary, 45 mph.
Hiscock said he had "safety concerns" with the increase and Eberling noted, "I can't say my heart is in this one."
The ODOT letter explained "The city has the final authority to determine speed limits and the roadway sections where those speed limits will be journalized based upon the results of the speed zone study."
In his letter to ODOT, Hiscock cited the number of crashes, speeding citations and warnings, emergency vehicles entering High Street at Weatherstone Drive, citizen complaints about excessive speeds and curves on that section of roadway as reasons to have a 25 mph in the area.
The committee also recommended the council authorizes the purchase of a new ambulance with a gasoline engine at a cost of $140,000. Sharkey thinks the ambulance should be diesel powered.